Quality and integration of public health information systems: A systematic review focused on immunization and vital records systems

Joshua R Vest, Hilary M Kirk, L Michele Issel


Objectives: Public health professionals rely on quantitative data for the daily practice of public health as well as organizational decision making and planning. However, several factors work against effective data sharing among public health agencies in the US. This review characterizes the reported barriers and enablers of effective use of public health IS from an informatics perspective.
Methods: A systematic review of the English language literature for 2005 to 2011 followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) format. The review focused on immunization information systems (IIS) and vital records information systems (VRIS). Systems were described according to the structural aspects of IS integration and data quality.
Results: Articles describing IIS documented issues pertaining to the distribution of the system, the autonomy of the data providers, the heterogeneous nature of information sharing as well as the quality of the data. Articles describing VRIS were focused much more heavily on data quality, particularly whether or not the data were free from errors.
Conclusions: For state and local practitioners to effectively utilize data, public health IS will have to overcome the challenges posed by a large number of autonomous data providers utilizing a variety of technologies.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/ojphi.v4i2.4198

Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 * http://ojphi.org