Methods for Leveraging a Health Information Exchange for Public Health: Lessons Learned from the NW-PHIE Experience

Michael Trebatoski, J Davies, Debra Revere, David Dobbs


The intent of this article is to provide public health and health information exchanges (HIEs) insight into activities and processes for connecting public health with clinical care through HIEs. In 2007 the CDC issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the “Situational Awareness through Health Information Exchange” project. The project’s goals are to connect public health with health information exchanges (HIEs) to improve public health’s real-time understanding of communities’ population health and healthcare facility status. This article describes the approach and methodology used by the Northwest Public Health Information Exchange to achieve the project’s goals. The experience of the NWPHIE Collaboration provides an organizational and operational roadmap for implementing a successful regional HIE that ensures secure exchange and use of electronic health information between local and state public health and health care entities.

Keywords: Data Collection; Electronic Health Records; Health Information Exchange; Information Management; Information Services; Medical Record Linkage; Public Health; Public Health Informatics

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Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 *