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Have Maryland local health departments effectively put in place the information technology relevant to emergency preparedness?

Jonas Nguh, PhD, MSN, MHSA, RN


Ever since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the federal government has 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 lack of preparedness affects the entire public. The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not Maryland LHDs have effectively put in place the information technology (IT) that is relevant for emergency preparedness. Base Firm-wide IT Infrastructure Services and the Feeny/Willcocks Framework for Core IS Capabilities are the two conceptual frameworks used in this study. This qualitative study used the survey method and the data were analyzed through content analysis. The results revealed that utilization, practice, and performance of IT by Maryland LHDs are not efficient or effective. Recommendations included the development of “best practices,” increased funding for IT infrastructure and the establishment of strategic management framework for IT initiatives. Implications for positive social change include the development of recommendations to enhance emergency preparedness practice, and advancement of knowledge so as to facilitate the functions, and duties of health departments in emergency preparedness operations.


public health preparedness, emergency management, local health departments

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