Infection preventionists' awareness of and engagement in health information exchange to improve public health surveillance

Brian E. Dixon, Josette F. Jones, Shaun J. Grannis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Background: Advances in electronic health record (EHR) systems and health information exchange (HIE) are shifting efforts in public health toward greater use of information systems to automate notifiable disease surveillance. Little is known about infection preventionists' (IPs) awareness, adoption, and use of these technologies to report information to public health. Methods: To measure awareness and engagement in EHR and HIE activities, an online survey of IPs was conducted in states with HIE networks. A total of 63 IPs was invited to participate; 44 IPs (69%) responded. The survey asked about the adoption and use of EHR systems, participation in regional HIE initiatives, and IP needs with respect to EHR systems and public health reporting. Results: Over 70% of responding IPs reported access to an EHR system, but less than 20% of IPs with access to an EHR reported being involved in the design, selection, or implementation of the system. Just 10% of IPs reported that their organizations were formally engaged in HIE activities, and 49% were unaware of organizational involvement in HIE. IPs expressed a desire for better decision support, paperless reporting methods, and situational awareness of community outbreaks. Conclusion: Many IPs lack awareness and engagement in EHR and HIE activities, which may limit IPs ability to influence or utilize key information technologies as they are implemented in health care organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)787-792
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013



  • Computer assisted decision making
  • Computerized medical records systems
  • Epidemiology
  • Public health informatics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy

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