Public Health Informatics and the Health Information Infrastructure

  • William A. Yasnoff
  • Patrick W. O'Carroll
  • Andrew Friede
Part of the Health Informatics book series (HI)


After reading this chapter you should know the answers to these questions:
  • What are the three core functions of public health, and how do they help shape the different foci of public health and medicine?

  • What are the current and potential effects of a) the genomics revolution; and b) 9/11 on public health informatics?

  • What were the political, organizational, epidemiological, and technical issues that influenced the development of immunization registries? How do registries promote public health, and how can this model be expanded to other domains (be specific about those domains) ? How might it fail in others?Why?

  • What is the vision and purpose of the National Health Information Infrastructure? What kinds of impacts will it have, and in what time periods? Why don’t we have one already? What are the political and technical barriers to its implementation? What are the characteristics of any evaluation process that would be used to judge demonstration projects?


Immunization Registry Health Information Technology Health Information Exchange Electronic Health Record System Local Public Health Agency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Suggested Readings

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1997). Community Immunization Registries Manual. Available at While some of the particulars are a little dated, this accessible document shows how public health professionals approach informatics problems.
  2. Hellestad R, Bigelow J, Bower A, Girosi F, Meili R, Scoville R, Taylor R 2005: Can Electronic Medical Record Systems Transform Health Care? Potential Health Benefits, Savings, and Costs Health Affairs 2005; 24:1103–1117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Yasnoff WA,Humphreys BL, Overhage JM, Detmer DE, Brenman PF, Morris RW, Middleton B, Bates DW, Fanning JP: A Consensus Action Agenda for Achieving the National Health Information Infrastructure. J Am Med Informatics Assoc 11(4)332–338. Summarizes the results of a recent conference; presents a broad overview and many forward-looking perspectives.Google Scholar
  4. Friede A, Blum HL, McDonald M (1995). Public health informatics: how information-age technology can strengthen public health. Annu Rev Public Health 16:239–52. The seminal article on public health informatics.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Koo D, O'Carroll PW, LaVenture M (2001). Public health 101 for informaticians. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 8(6):585–97. An accessible document that introduces public health thinking.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. O'Carroll PW, Yasnoff WA, Ward ME, Ripp LH, Martin EL (eds.) (2003): Public Health Informatics and Information Systems. New York: Springer-Verlag. A new and comprehensive textbook.Google Scholar
  7. Walker J, Pan E, Johnston D, Adler-Milstein J, Bates DW, Middleton B. (2004). The Value of Healthcare information Exchange and Interoperability. Boston, MA: Center for Information Technology Leadership.Google Scholar
  8. Yasnoff WA, Humphreys BL, Overhage JM, Detmer DE, Brennan PF, Morris RW, Middlleton B, Bates DW, Fanning JP (2004): A Consensus Action Agenda for Achieving the National Health Information Infrastructure. J Am Med Informatics Assoc 11(4):332–338, 2004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Yasnoff WA, O'Carroll PW, Koo D, Linkins RW, Kilbourne EM (2000). Public Health Informatics: Improving and transforming public health in the information age. Journal of Public Health Management &Practice 6(6):67–75. A concise yet comprehensive introduction to the field.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • William A. Yasnoff
    • 1
  • Patrick W. O'Carroll
    • 2
  • Andrew Friede
    • 3
  1. 1.Managing PartnerNHII AdvisorsArlington
  2. 2.U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesRegional Health Administrator, U.S. Public Health Service Region XSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Vice President for Health AffairsConstella Health Sciences, Constella Group, LLCAtlantaUSA

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