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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

East Tennessee Finds Local Health Department QI Related to Health Information Technology Use

A collaborative new study conducted by graduate students and faculty at the East Tennessee College of Public Health examined the relationship between quality improvement (QI) and health information technology (HIT) use in local health departments (LHDs) and found significant relationships between engagement in QI and use of certain HIT. LHDs who engaged in current QI activities were 1.7 times more likely to use electronic health records, twice as likely to use practice management systems, and 2.2 times more likely to use electronic syndromic surveillance systems. Those associations held after controlling for confounding variables (total population size, total expenditures, and total FTEs).  The research team included Ms. Kendra Johnson and Ms. Tina Nguyen, MPH candidates, Dr. Robin Pendley, assistant professor in the department of health services management and policy, and Dr. Shimin Zheng of the department of biostatistics and epidemiology. The findings were published in Frontiers in Public Health Services and Systems Research in October 2013.