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The role of information technology in emergency preparedness by local health departments: A literature review

Jonas Nguh, PhD, MSN, MHSA, RN

Abstract


Ever since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the federal government increased funding for emergency preparedness. However, the literature continues to document several areas of weaknesses in public health emergency management by local health departments (LHD). This literature review discusses the role of information technology (IT) for emergency preparedness by LHDs. The focus areas for this review include evaluating the strategic management of IT by LHD, evaluation of the adoption and implementation of IT in emergency management, and assessing LHD's capacity and capability for emergency preparedness. Findings reveal that LHDs face significant challenges in the utilization of IT for emergency preparedness purposes such as weak capacity and capabilities, lack of structured planning and program implementation, and limited resources. Implications from this review include the development of “best practices,” increased funding for IT infrastructure, and the establishment of strategic management framework for IT initiatives. 


Keywords


local health departments, emergency preparedness, emergency management, information technology, strategic management

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5055/jem.2014.0183

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