Here in HospitalEMRandEHR.com, we focus closely on direct commercial uses of health IT, but it’s good to be reminded of its public health applications.
For that reason, I was interested to note that Johns Hopkins has just created a new center focused on population health IT. The idea, according to Healthcare IT News, is to pull together a variety of disciplines that can help improve understanding of public health, including informatics, business, systems engineering and medicine.
While one might easily assume that the Hopkins project was aimed entirely at expanding its internal research base, the new Center for Population Health IT actually plans to help private firms and public health organizations make better use of health IT tools.
The Center is also cruising for partners in partnerships with private industry who wish to offer financial support in exchange for access to its research and development results, including any new technologies it develops, HIN notes. Given JH’s prestige, my guess is that it will have to beat off potential partners with a club.
I doubt public health as a discipline is a complete unknown to anyone who reads this, but just for fun, I thought I’d toss in this neat video on why students are going into the field. As exciting as it is to work in direct patient care — or so readers tell me — here’s some thoughts on the public health mindset. I love the idea of bringing this kind of idealism into a world that’s (at gunpoint) being forced to focus on the here, now, and how much.