Profile-IQ: Web-Based Data Query System for Local Health Department Infrastructure and Activities

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Journal of Public Health Management and Practice






Objectives: To demonstrate the use of National Association of County & City Health Officials' Profile-IQ, a Web-based data query system, and how policy makers, researchers, the general public, and public health professionals can use the system to generate descriptive statistics on local health departments.

Design: This article is a descriptive account of an important health informatics tool based on information from the project charter for Profile-IQ and the authors' experience and knowledge in design and use of this query system.

Conclusion and Implications: Profile-IQ is a Web-based data query system that is based on open-source software: MySQL 5.5, Google Web Toolkit 2.2.0, Apache Commons Math library, Google Chart API, and Tomcat 6.0 Web server deployed on an Amazon EC2 server. It supports dynamic queries of National Profile of Local Health Departments data on local health department finances, workforce, and activities. Profile-IQ's customizable queries provide a variety of statistics not available in published reports and support the growing information needs of users who do not wish to work directly with data files for lack of staff skills or time, or to avoid a data use agreement. Profile-IQ also meets the growing demand of public health practitioners and policy makers for data to support quality improvement, community health assessment, and other processes associated with voluntary public health accreditation. It represents a step forward in the recent health informatics movement of data liberation and use of open source information technology solutions to promote public health.