Planning the Design and Implementation of an Application for Surveillance of Notifiable Disease
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This internship was completed at the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Nova Scotia Department of Health during the months of January – April 2006. The intern reported to Dr Maureen Baikie, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health for Nova Scotia. The objectives were to assist in the design and use of IT tools for use by Public Health and to explore the role of informatics in public health. The author’s role was to catalogue applications used by Public Health in notifiable disease surveillance and work with a team to design an application to promote an efficient and effective means of providing notifiable disease surveillance. The Application for Notifiable Disease Surveillance was the result. The program has been produced and is ready for user testing. Implementation issues were researched and presented. The role of informatics in public health was researched and the role of the Public Health Informatician was outlined. A job description was produced and the job will be posted this summer. The internship proved to be a valuable learning experience as it provided the opportunity to put into practice the skills and knowledge obtained in the MHI program. Public Health has always been a special interest to the author and the lack of appropriate use of information technology has been frustrating. The Application for Notifiable Disease Surveillance (ANDS) program can provide a blueprint for the implementation of the Atlantic Public Health Surveillance System over the next several years. The better job that is done with implementation of ANDS, the easier it will be to get an enthusiastic staff commitment for the Infoway project.