The Relationship between Quality Improvement and Health Information Technology Use in Local Health Departments

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This research examined if there is a relationship between engagement in quality improvement (QI) and health information technology (HIT) for local health departments (LHDs) controlling for workforce, finance, population, and governance structure. This was a cross-sectional study that analyzed data obtained from the Core questions and Module 1 in the NACCHO 2010 Profile of LHDs. Descriptive statistics, bivariate analyses, and logistic regression analyses were conducted. Findings suggest that LHD engagement in QI has a relationship with utilization of HIT including electronic health records, practice management systems, and electronic syndromic surveillance systems. This study provides baseline information about the HIT use of LHDs. LHDs and their system partners (hospitals, federally qualified health centers, and primary care providers) that utilize HIT as part of their QI decision making may have an easier time of using data to support evidence-based decision making and implementing the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 in order to achieve population health for all.