Public health informatics, human factors, and the end-users

In this brief commentary article published in Health Services Research and Managerial Epidemiology, Matthews and Proctor of the University of Central Florida argue that simply building out public health informatics infrastructure isn’t enough to ensure better public health data and improved health outcomes in the populace. The duo notes that when considering the build out of such technologies, it’s vital the implementing organization(s) ask “who are we building this product for, and do we have the right information to back up our theories on implementation and use?” Improved technology skills within the public health workforce aren’t enough, they argue, and important human factors research is being neglected when planning for systems implementations. After discussing the importance of health factors research in public health practice and what it should look like, they conclude with four critical recommendations for new and existing public health informatics implementations, including stakeholder collaboration, theoretically informed and validated data collection, proper documentation, and malleable but well-informed technology requirements statements for the future.

Please to read the entire article.