Making Public Health IT Work

Expected to help manage every health crisis, from pandemics to chronic diseases, a new program is working to help public health departments prepare reliable IT systems to meet these challenges.

Currently, information systems for state and local public health department are developed by individual state and local departments so they may not function very effectively in conjunction with one another.

A new program from the RWJF (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) dubbed “Common Ground” is seeking to unify how IT is implemented in public health departments.

Common Ground: Transforming Public Health Information Systems will bring together health departments to collaboratively describe the public health activities—emergency preparedness, restaurant inspections, vaccinations, nutrition education—that their information systems must support and develop the technical requirements for these systems so that they can better serve the public.

The three-year, $15 million program is intended to build upon previously funded RWJF initiatives to strengthen the public health system and improve information technology.

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