Making a Powerful Connection: the Health of the Public and the National Information Infrastructure. 7.3 State Activities


A number of states have developed plans for integrated information systems and are moving to implement them. While all of these systems have the potential to support population-based health, several are being specifically designed to do so. For example:

  • The states of Washington and Minnesota have established public/private partnerships to develop comprehensive information systems that support both the delivery and financing of medical care and population-based public health activities.
  • A number of states and some metropolitan communities are developing community health management information systems (CHMIS), which will facilitate electronic claims processing and coverage verification in the health care system and maintain a community database for use by appropriate researchers and government agencies.
  • In Missouri, a public health information system is being designed that transcends current categorical program structures and organizational boundaries so as to provide more integrated and comprehensive client-centered data. Reflecting a community health focus, "clients" in this system will encompass not only people, but also restaurants, hospitals, waste systems, swimming pools, and wells.
  • Information systems in Illinois, Georgia, Mississippi and North Carolina are being designed to integrate the delivery of care to individuals across numerous state and local agencies. These systems will support one-stop shopping, case-management, and the delivery of important preventive services, such as immunization.
  • Iowa is the first state in the country to link all of its counties via fiberoptics (although local health departments are not yet connected). The system is currently being used for selected educational, health care (hospital telemedicine), and criminal justice purposes. Further connections to state agencies, libraries, and schools is planned.
  • In Utah, Internet users can now build their own tables and graphs through interactive queries from the statewide hospital discharge database and the E-code (external causes of injury) database, both available on the world-wide web. These interactive databases can be saved in text format for further analysis.