Session Topic Areas

Topic 1: Health Information Exchange and Interoperability

This area will focus on public health engagement in Health Information Exchange (HIE), including nationwide, state, regional, and private HIEs. Sessions will describe technical strategy and business sustainability for public health engagement in HIE.

Topic 2: Public Health IT Privacy and Security

This area will outline the policies and procedures public health departments can adopt to secure protected health information. Sessions will also examine the implications of HIPAA and the HITECH Act on public health IT system security.

Topic 3: Public Health Workforce Development

Workforce development is a key component to the implementation of modern public health information systems. Sessions will outline core competencies for informatics savvy staff and best practices for developing the public health workforce.

Topic 4: Public Health, Healthcare, and the Learning Health System 

The growing movement to link quality to payment through value-based care presents significant opportunities and challenges for public health departments to work more closely with the nation’s health system. Abstracts for this area should focus on the challenges, opportunities, and practical lessons for public health to work with healthcare providers and the future role public health departments will play in the learning health system (e.g. how has public health data been used in State Innovation Model HealthCare Reform).

Topic 5: Novel Uses and Innovative Practices of Public Health Informatics

Abstracts in this topic area should investigate the novel uses and innovative practices developed by local and state health departments and how improvements in both technology and process have resulted in improved public health outcomes. These sessions will also explore the use of non-health related data and the use of informatics for the advancement of health equity.

Topic 6: Public Health Leadership, Governance, and Strategic Planning

The sessions in this area will demonstrate approaches to define and execute agency-wide strategies for public health informatics and develop the value proposition for health IT in their agency. Sessions will explore how informatics can be incorporated into a health department’s strategy and how health officers can steer the use of information systems to improve population health.

Topic 7: Public Health IT Infrastructure and Standards

Effective development, design, and implementation of IT infrastructure within a health department can improve public health outcomes and equity across a population. Sessions in this area will analyze public health and health care data standards, data management strategies, and technical IT infrastructure components.

Topic 8: Meaningful Use and Electronic Health Records

Electronic health record (EHR) data have the potential to advance public health practice and policy. Sessions will analyze public health uses of EHRs and the public health implications of the Meaningful Use incentive programs.