Week 5: Informatics in Public Health

Week 5: Informatics in Public Health

The data input in your ER, in your exam room, or in your mobile clinic can positively affect other patients in the community or region. Why might the administration of one type of influenza vaccine in one area contribute to fewer outbreaks, while a large number of cases may appear in a neighboring area where the same vaccine was administered?

When applying nursing informatics to public health, the ability to predict and recognize trends adds another layer of complexity. The exchange of data can present issues related to the nature of sharing and exchange itself—that is, infrastructure requirements, security, and privacy. While these issues present challenges, the wider implications of meeting those challenges include contributions to disaster response, infectious disease outbreaks, or improving the healthcare outcomes of a particular population. This week, you first analyze issues related to data sharing in specific settings and specialties. Then, you engage with your community of practitioners by interviewing a public health nurse informaticist to learn about the real-world applications of informatics and how they may influence your own professional goals and practice.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze the effect of precision medicine on genetic testing and research
  • Justify the role of the nurse informaticist for the use of precision medicine on genetic testing and research.
  • Develop interview questions
  • Create infographics
  • Analyze the role of the nurse informaticist
  • Analyze the transfer of data to public health agencies in healthcare settings
  • Analyze the methods of sharing data in syndromic surveillance, disasters, and epidemics
  • Evaluate health information exchanges (HIE) used for the sharing of information in healthcare settings
  • Analyze issues related to information sharing between agencies for the monitoring of infectious diseases
  • Analyze issues related to the nurse informaticist role in population health, bioinformatics, and biomedical research
  • Assess the role of informatics for population and public health



Required readings

McBride, S., & Tietze, M. (2019). Nursing informatics for the advanced practice nurse: Patient safety, quality, outcomes, and interprofessionalism (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing.

  • Chapter 11, “Electronic Health Records and Health Information Exchanges Providing Value and Results for Patients, Providers, and Healthcare Systems” (pp. 248–271)
  • Chapter 13, “Public Health Data to Support Healthy Communities in Health Assessment Planning” (pp. 296–331)
  • Chapter 15, “Personal Health Records and Patient Portals” (pp. 354–375)
  • Chapter 16, “Telehealth and Mobile Health” (pp. 376–397)
  • Chapter 22, “National Prevention Strategy, Population Health, and Health Information Technology” (pp. 532–555)
  • Chapter 25, “Genomics and Implications for Health Information Technology” (pp. 610–637)

Note: Chapters 11 and 13, which were assigned in the previous week, are also applicable this week and are listed here for review purposes.


Some more PDF attached files.




Discussion: Data Sharing and Bioinformatics

The exchange of data has many implications, some beneficial, but some risky. Consider the exchange of sensitive information, a dilemma that has a seemingly simple solution: That information should be protected. Yet, in a public health context, how does privacy complicate the possibility of improving outcomes across a population? For example, how can data drawn from genomic sequencing be protected and contribute to the body of knowledge? In this Discussion, you explore a similar question.


To Prepare

For this Discussion, consider the following scenario:

You are a nurse geneticist who is working for a teaching and research hospital. Your position is to promote the provider use of genetic testing for a specific drug trial. While most physicians are eager to participate in the research, a provider who primarily treats patients with HIV is reluctant to use the trial on their patients and feels utilizing the database system is a violation of HIPAA.

As a nurse leader, describe the recommendation you might make to this provider and explain why.

  • Search the for a peer-reviewed journal article that contains research related to precision medicine to support your recommendation to the provider.
  • The Library recommends the following:

Navigate to the Nursing research databases in the Library.

  • Select a database with which to start. You can try more than one.
  • Perform a basic search: precision medicine. Do not select any limiters yet.
  • Look at initial results, particularly if there are any recent books that might be helpful. Note that you can search within e-books for particular terms.
  • Add a second concept in Box 2 to focus your search. It helps to keep concepts separate, especially when multiple boxes are provided.
  • Example: HIPPA or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act 
  • At this point, look at the first page or two of results and refine depending on what you find. Notice any other relevant words or combinations of words that might focus your search further. Possible suggestions: privacy, security, confidentiality, ethics.
  • To apply limits, scroll down in the left column to limit by date (last 5 years) and limit the results to peer-reviewed scholarly journals only. It helps to do this after you know you have performed a successful search and identified possible synonyms and sub-topics.
By Day 3 of Week 5

Post a response that addresses how precision medicine might affect genetic testing in general and the research trial described in the scenario specifically. Be specific. Your post should include your approach for facilitating the reluctant physician’s use of the trial drug and reporting the needed data. Justify your role as the nurse informaticist as it pertains to the genetics trial drug use and reporting described in the scenario.


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