The Public Health Profile toolkit is an adaptable set of resources designed for state and local health departments to self-assess needs and readiness for health information exchange in today’s rapidly changing health information environment. It is intended to be tailored to your agency’s individual needs and is based on the work done by the Minnesota Department of Health.
By building support for informatics capacity building throughout all levels of the organization, this assessment can be viewed as a change management strategy. Executive leaders will benefit by having necessary information to support strategic planning and overall information system portfolio management. Managers and division leaders will benefit by identifying those programs which are exchanging data electronically and those that are not, exposing opportunities to coordinate across programs. Agency staff members who participate in the assessment will benefit by understanding changes in the health sector that affect public health practice, including trends in the electronic transmission of information.
What does the assessment entail?
The toolkit is designed to be customized so that the level of effort and resources required will vary based on the agency’s needs and available resources. The project may be scaled to conduct an agency-wide assessment over a longer period of time or be applied to only one or two program areas. There are four major phases of activity:
What does the toolkit include?
- Communication strategies and tools for conducting a program level or agency-wide readiness assessment for information exchange (either internal to the agency or with external data sharing partners).
- Stakeholder identification and engagement methods and tools.
- Considerations for scoping an informatics assessment.
- Project management requirements for successful implementation.
- Inclusion and exclusion criteria (which data sets or information systems will be included).
- Development of agency specific questions for assessment (determine what system capacities you are assessing and for what purpose).
- Data collection methods.
- Interpretation and communication of results.
- Using results for strategy development and tactical planning activities.
What is the output?
A comprehensive summary of an agency’s current and projected information system needs and opportunities.
What is the intended result?
To inform agency or program decisions and priorities regarding:
- Information system modernization efforts.
- Current and desired technical capabilities of information system(s).
- Current and future use of and need for public health information.
- Current and desired information exchange partners and capabilities.
- Identification of resource needs.