Public health informatics is a critical component of operations and foundational capacity of a local health department (LHD). The objective of this case study was to describe the process and outcomes of a small LHD’s strategy to build and use information systems. The case study is based on a review of documents and semi-structured interviews with key informants in the Pomperaug District Health Department. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, coded, and analyzed.
[Photo: Dr. Gulzar Shah]
The case study suggests that small LHDs can use a low-resource, incremental strategy to build information systems for improving departmental effectiveness and efficiency. Specifically, we suggest that the elements for this department’s success were simple information systems, clear vision, consistent leadership, and the involvement, training, and support of staff.
The study titled “An Iterative, Low-Cost Strategy to Building Information Systems Allows a Small Jurisdiction Local Health Department to Increase Efficiencies and Expand Services,” was published online ahead of print in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.
Dr. Gulzar Shah, Associate Dean for Research at the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health Georgia Southern University was the Principal Investigator (PI) for the project and the co-author of the manuscript. Dr. Kay A. Lovelace, Department of Public Health Education at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) was the lead author.