Public Health as a domain is a massive complex mixture of professionals and organizations that work together to achieve the mission of ensuring the nation’s health. The mission can only be achieved when the population based information is made available at the fingertips of healthcare professionals, administrators, managers, governmental, non-governmental agencies and other contributing to improve the health of the community.
Population based information includes a wide range of community and health facility based information such as socio-demographic, health status, resources, infrastructure, financing, healthcare utilization, coverage and many more. Collecting, transmitting, processing, analyzing and presenting these information is always challenging for the healthcare managers and administrators.
Health information technology (HIT) provides the umbrella framework to describe the comprehensive management of health information and its secure exchange between consumers, providers, government and quality entities, and insurers. Its role in public health is unmatchable because it plays a vital role in early detection of infectious disease outbreaks around the country, improved tracking of chronic disease management, monitoring healthcare programs and coverage, evaluation of health care utilization, and in making transparent and evidence-based decisions for health system interventions.
In addition, HIT also reduces the paper work by eliminating the needs of paper based record and improve the administrative efficiency. It improves the healthcare by decreasing medical errors with an assurance that all the healthcare providers have accurate and timely information. Health information technology in general is increasingly viewed as the most promising tool for improving the overall quality, safety and efficiency of the health delivery system.
Keywords: Public Health; Health Information; Population Based Information
Sri Lanka Journal of Bio-Medical Informatics 2010;1(4):223-36