Term of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health in Public Health Leadership (Dr.P.H.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Department

College of Public Health

Committee Chair

Bettye Apenteng

Committee Member 1

Gulzar Shah

Committee Member 2

William Mase

Non-Voting Committee Member

Rosalyn Bacon

Abstract

Background: There is a need for the public health workforce to be current and versatile in technology usage. Public health leveraging technology usage in service delivery has the potential to improve efficiency and bring it to the forefront in the provision of healthcare services. The purpose of this study was to assess public health workforce informatics competencies in select Atlanta health districts and determine the correlates of public health informatics proficiency.

Methods: A 10-item instrument adapted from the recommendations of a Working Group document by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the 2015 Informatics Capacity and Needs Assessment Survey was validated and used to assess proficiency and relevance of informatics competency items. Three hundred and thirty-three respondents completed the survey. A gap score was calculated as a proxy to identify the area of training needs. A path analysis was conducted to assess the relationships between contextual factors and competency domains.

Results: Respondents reported relatively high proficiency in foundational PHI competency. Psychometric testing of the instrument revealed two informatic competency domains – Effective IT Use and Effective Use of Information. Effective use of IT mediated the relationship between employee-level factors and the effective use of information.

Conclusion: The study provides baseline informatics competency data for the assessed local health departments. Periodic assessment of staff informatics competencies will contribute to proactively identifying and addressing training needs, thus positioning employees for maximum productivity when using informatics technology and informatic systems to perform their job responsibilities. LHDs can use the short, validated tool used in this study for such assessments.

Research Data and Supplementary Material

Yes

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