//search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=c8h&AN=106956521&site=ehost-live 2) With the rise in communicable disease, possible threats of bioterrorism, and other chronic illnesses, informatics and public health policies go hand in hand. Data collection and analyzation through interoperability systems can provide so much information that can help the entire population nationally. “Public health informatics (PIH) is considered to be one of the most useful systems in addressing disease surveillance, epidemics, natural disasters, and bioterrorism” (Aziz, 2017, p. 79). The government is essentially in control of public health decisions and determines which polices and guidelines will be enacted to abide by national standards. Public health information systems will depend on available resources and budget. Currently, data collection comes from multiple different sources including, surveys, facilities, surveillance systems, and data collection systems such as health information exchange (HIE) and health information organization (HIO) (Aziz, 2017). Hospitals and clinics are often mandated to report specific patient information, which can aid in disease prevention and management. Although all this data collection aids in PHI, “nonclinical data sources can help assist in identifying public health trends as well” (Hebda, Hunter, & Czar, 2019, p. 426). Surveillance systems collect patient data, which is then interpreted and analyzed to look for specific patterns and trends in diseases and injuries. This research can then provide insight on ways to possibly prevent or mitigate damage from the illness. Syndromic surveillance system is a specific system that “collects symptoms and clinical features of an undiagnosed disease or health event in near real time that might indicate the early stages of an outbreak or bioterrorism attack” (Aziz, 2017, p. 78). This information could then be conveyed to all national health officials. HIE and HIO can also provide pertinent information to the appropriate source, in the event of a natural disaster, where paper documents may get destroyed. This would be beneficial to PHI as well. According to Aziz, the newest development in PHI is “geographic information system (GIS), which uses digitized maps from satellites or aerial photography to provide large volumes of data” (p. 78). This also helps provide nonclinical data such as location and spatial patterns. Another benefit for PHI and data collection is the advance of telemedicine/telehealth services. These services will hopefully be able to provide direct patient data, via smart devices. So many benefits exist with PHI that could provide information pertaining to vaccines, cancer, communicable disease, and the emergence of new diseases. This data would allow healthcare officials to determine if there is a possible correlation between patient location, diet regimen, or any other possible link between the patient and the illness. PHI plays a pivotal role in the health and well being of all individuals. Funding and adequate resources need to be applied to the PHI specialty in order for it to prosper and gain support in the profession. Data collection, along with education, are imperative to the management and prevention of disease and possible threats. References

Care informatics policies in the healthcare sector: What do these policy implications have on healthcare informatics use?

Written documents that describe the healthcare administrators such as clinics and hospitals, are called Healthcare Informatics Policies. The policies aim to make healthcare more efficient, improve public health, and collect and analyze data in order to support evidence-based practice. They are designed to keep patients and staff protected while decreasing the chance of data breaches that could compromise sensitive patient information.

Privacy and security of patient data is a major concern for healthcare informatics. Policies have been created to minimize the possibility of security breaches. Hospitals have policies that include not putting patient identifiers in emails, logging out of electronic health records once leaving the patients’ room, education on phishing emails, creating firewalls, having backup storages for patient information, audit trails for private charts, and specialized access for private charts. Also, policies are in place for recovering and retrieving healthcare information in cases of unexpected disasters.

Because of the protection and importance they give informatics, the impact of the healthcare informatics policy has been positive. This allows for safer informatics use for improved patient outcomes. The popularity of Telehealth Services is growing. New Policies are also being created to assure proper patient care. For example, the use telepsychiatry for assessment and treatment of patients with psychiatric disorders in emergency rooms.

Healthcare informatics policies have a significant impact on the healthcare industry’s use of information technology. They provide a structure for safe, effective and efficient use of this technology. These policies protect patients’ privacy while providing a framework for collecting and analysing data that can be used to inform evidence-based practice.

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