Improving HIV/AIDS Knowledge Management Using EHRs

Erik D. Malmberg, Thao M Phan, Glynn Harmon, Richard F Nauert


Background: A primary goal for the development of EHRs and EHR-related technologies should be to facilitate greater knowledge management for improving individual and community health outcomes associated with HIV / AIDS. Most of the current developments of EHR have focused on providing data for research, patient care and prioritization of healthcare provider resources in other areas. More attention should be paid to using information from EHRs to assist local, state, national, and international entities engaged in HIV / AIDS care, research and prevention strategies. Unfortunately the technology and standards for HIV-specific reporting modules are still being developed.

Methods: A literature search and review supplemented by the author’s own experiences with electronic health records and HIV / AIDS prevention strategies will be used. This data was used to identify both opportunities and challenges for improving public health informatics primarily through the use of latest innovations in EHRs. Qualitative analysis and suggestions are offered for how EHRs can support knowledge management and prevention strategies associated with HIV infection.

Results: EHR information, including demographics, medical history, medication and allergies, immunization status, and other vital statistics can help public health practitioners to more quickly identify at-risk populations or environments; allocate scarce resources in the most efficient way; share information about successful, evidenced-based prevention strategies; and increase longevity and quality of life.

Conclusion: Local, state, and federal entities need to work more collaboratively with NGOs, community-based organizations, and the private sector to eliminate barriers to implementation including cost, interoperability, accessibility, and information security.

Key Words: Usability of Health Information, Information Technology, Health Promotion / Disease Prevention

MeSH Headings: HIV, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, Public Health Informatics, Electronic Health Records, Knowledge Management

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