(D3) Trying on the RCKMS Glass Slipper: How Well Do Jurisdictional Reporting Criteria Fit? (HLN’s part of this larger session encompasses slides 55-67 and slides 82-103)
HLN Consulting is pleased to announce a new project with the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) which will result in the incorporation of HLN’s Open Source ICE Immunization Evaluation and Forecasting software into VistA, the EHR used by VHA, and its deployment system-wide over the next few years. VHA is the largest health system in the US (other than the Department of Defense). HLN has been collaborating with VHA and its Open Source partners in the Open Source Electronic Health Record Alliance (OSEHRA) for the past several years. This represents a major step forward for the Open Source movement in government and for higher quality immunization forecasting and evaluation. For more information contact Noam Arzt (email@example.com) or Mike Suralik (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Most public health information technology projects rely on strong collaboration to be successful, especially across vendor-client boundaries. Here are some successful strategies:
- Clear vision. A concise and clear vision focused on public health outcomes is embraced and articulated by all participants in the project.
- Strong support and leadership from senior management. Without strong support from senior management, projects are rarely given the priority to enable success. This prioritization includes both agency and vendor commitment.
- Funding. Both external (Federal) and internal (state/local) funding need to be committed to enable success, though long-term sustainability is an ongoing issue.
HLN attended the 2016 Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) Annual Conference and will be involved in several presentations, including:
- Demonstration of the Reportable Conditions Knowledge Management System (RCKMS) during the pre-conference workshop Electronic Case Reporting: The Surveillance Gold Rush.
- Presentation of RCKMS Technology on a Surveillance/Informatics panel.
- Presentation of Clinical Decision Support for Public Health Surveillance: Three Open Source Examples in a Rapid-Fire session.
In an earlier post I wondered whether public health’s siloed systems might not be more appropriately thought of as siloed data. But after attend a meeting of the Joint Public Health Informatics Taskforce (JPHIT) I am wondering whether the issue is really siloed workflow.
In public health, data is used to support specific programs, and systems develop to provide a means to collect, analyze, and disseminate this data. Individuals in the programs define the data sets and create systems that support specific protocols and activities that are considered unique to the program area. This is often the result of increased specialization in both the clinical and epidemiological practice and can result in processes that are at their core quite similar being described in diverse ways. Data definitions, codes and terminology sets often also evolve in a divergent way when often they are describing the same qualities or attributes, often about the same patients, conditions, or environment.
Public health agencies need to focus on the commonalities across their programs rather than on the differences. Existing and emerging standards activities should help promote a convergence of systems, data, and workflow to increase interoperability, reduce redundancy, and promote sharable, reusable, cheaper system components. As collaboration among programs and agencies moves some implementations to shared solutions or cloud-based implementations, public health needs to be careful not to create a set of siloed platforms that provide parallel, non-interoperating services to the same agencies.