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information systems, information technology, infrastructure, local health departments, public health, public health informatics



  1. Magruder, Charles MD, MPH
  2. Burke, Michael MPH, PhD
  3. Hann, Neil E. MPH, CHES
  4. Ludovic, Jennifer A. MPH


Information technology can be both a vital tool and critical link in the modern public health system. This article discusses the role of information technology in public health and the activities of the Information Technology Collaborative, one of the collaboratives that comprise the national Turning Point initiative. Data are presented from a nationwide survey investigating local health department information technology needs and information technology use. This data, and data from an investigation of state-level public health information technology, will be presented in a more complete format on the Information Technology Collaborative's online Public Health Information Systems Catalog, a free resource for individuals interested in public health informatics. Recommendations for future initiatives, policy changes, and information technology standards are discussed.