Abstract: Advancing population health outcomes is of prime interest to many informaticians both in healthcare and public health. This strong interest was demonstrated by the great success of AMIA’s Population Health Informatics (PHI) pre-symposium workshop in, making it the second most attended workshop in recent years. This year, multiple healthcare and public health factors are driving the PHI workshop to the next level including: post-Meaningful Use 2 (MU2) activities; evolving population-health focused MU3 objectives; and enactment/enforcement of new CMS population policies (e.g., MACRA).

In this pre-symposium, healthcare and public health informatics participants will discuss, assimilate, and advance current and emerging population health informatics issues. Faculty and presenters will frame different sides of each issue to demonstrate various developments and promote understanding of a common vocabulary. Participants will then discuss each issue to further advance a shared understanding. Consensus statements designed to move the management of each issue forward will be developed and communicated broadly.

Timely issues to be included in the session topics that are associated with advancing population health outcomes inside of clinical care and public health such as: the role of -based tools such as population health management dashboards in supporting surveillance needs; connecting registries in clinical care, in Public Health Agencies and in Health Information Exchanges, as well as other organizations; using population data for the public good; public health challenges with MU; decision support for reporting and population health workers; implementing two way “reporting” between public health and healthcare; population health informatics needs for chronic disease management and prevention; community health interventions, and other emerging topics.

Learning Objective 1: Goals for this workshop include:

○ Bring public health, healthcare, and AMIA informatics professionals together to discuss timely population health issues and explore collaboration
○ Increase understanding and engagement of AMIA healthcare informatics participants in broader public and population health practice and research needs
○ Expose more public health, CDC professionals, and population health managers to AMIA’s pre-symposium workshops and AMIA
○ Advance the discussion of health information technology for fundamental and pressing population and public health issues
○ Demonstrate hands on population and public health informatics applications which illustrate major progress, innovation and, or barriers (e.g., case studies)
○ Outline the gaps and challenges of the existing population and public health informatics research and propose and explore innovative solutions to bridge the gaps

Each individual session will be led by two or more faculty members who will make short framing presentations that present different perspectives on an issue. The faculty will then lead a structured discussion of each issue to facilitate understanding and work toward advancing shared issues and solutions. During and shortly after the pre-symposium, possible consensus statements will be developed. Possible consensus statements will be reviewed by the faculty, and additional refinements will be suggested during the PHI-WG meeting. The final consensus statements will be subsequently communicated broadly.

Learning Objective 2: Who should attend?

We hope to bring more public health practitioners from the state, local and clinical care levels to AMIA. We also hope that AMIA healthcare informatics professionals who are interested in population health practice, research and outcomes will join to learn more about the public health informatics and its intersection with healthcare. We expect strong participation from Public Health Informatics Workgroup (PHI-WG) members beyond those who have already agreed to support this pre-symposium. Finally, while we do not think of this as a tutorial, we hope that students and young practitioners and researchers will join and develop interest in the domain.

We will be communicating and publicizing this session through AMIA channels, through PHI-WG and other working groups, through listserv of various public health organization (e.g., CDC), and also through previous years’ participants and contacts. We plan on making presentations on national calls related to public health and population health informatics and to groups working in related areas like the ASTHO, the Public Health Data Standards Consortium, Public Health Reporting S&I Framework working group, the Meaningful Use working groups of the CDC and the States, and etc.

The AMIA PHI pre-symposium in 2014 has been a successful workshop. More than 90 researchers, public health officials, informaticians, faculty members, and consultants attended the 2014 PHI pre-symposium workshop making it a record attended workshop. More than 15 senior faculty members and scientists presented during the 2014 PHI pre-symposium covering a multitude of topics such as public health registries, information exchanges, biosurveillance, open source solutions, PHI publication opportunities, and HITECH/ACA effect on PHI. Last year, Johns Hopkins University (through the Center for Population HIT) assisted the pre-symposium coordinators to stream the workshop to online participants. Johns Hopkins University is committed to support this year’s pre-symposium as well. The fact that the 2017 AMIA symposium is going to be held in Washington DC, we anticipate more attendants from public and government offices to join the workshop.

We hope that this year we can create enough interest to bring participation to between 80 and 100 people, but the number could be even higher.

Learning Objective 3: Topics to be covered

The overarching topical framework for 2017 PHI pre-symposium will be adapt and update thePublic Health Informatics agenda developed from the 2011 AMIA PHI conference (doi:10.1136/amiajnl-2011-000507) and the 2017 Population Health Informatics agenda (https://doi.org/10.1093/jamia/ocv210). Potential issues for individual session framing, discussion and consensus statements will include:

Information Exchange for Monitoring and Care Coordination - Clinical Care to/from Health Departments
○ Public Health electronic surveillance needs
○ Population health management for chronic disease management and prevention
○ Information exchange among public, clinical, and social services
○ Healthcare provider needs for public health information

Public Health Informatics and Population Health Informatics
○ Differences and similarities between public health informatics and population health informatics: problems, solutions, modalities, and outcomes
○ Aligning approaches to address both population and public health informatics concerns
○ How decision support will differ in clinical, population, and public health contexts?

Investigate Cross-Disciplinary Approaches
○ Methods used by public health informaticians are rarely used in other settings
○ Transplanting HIT methods and innovations from clinical domains into public health is facing technical and cultural barriers

Public and Population Health Workforce Training Issues
○ Motivation to adopt and use HIT in public health practices compared to clinical settings
○ Community health workforce is facing HIT adoption problems
○ Need of developing workforce in the areas of population and public health informatics is not recognized in training policies or funding sources
○ Funding streams and Career Panel in Public Health Informatics
○ Knowledge repository of organizations in the areas of Public Health Informatics

Best Practices for Health Registries
○ Registries should exist at the: EHR level, Accountable Care Organization level, Health Department level, or all of the above

Balancing Personal and Population Privacy Needs
○ Public discussion of public health needs for identifiable data lead to less data sharing
○ The third data class (identified, de-identified, and ?) needs better definition for better protection

Public Health Agencies and HITECH / ACA
○ What is next for public health incentives?
○ How can Meaningful Use gains be solidified and extended into other population and public health areas?


Hadi Kharrazi (Presenter)
Johns Hopkins University

Christina Stephan, University of Missouri-Columbia
John Loonsk, CGI Federal

Presentation Materials: