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Guiding Principles

PHII’s principles serve as a guide to help public health agencies answer questions about what they need from a health information system. In applying these principles, stakeholders are assured of a shared understanding about the health problem being addressed by the system.  

Engage all stakeholders

Developing effective health information systems requires everyone affected by the system to be at the table: public health program experts, information technology experts, health care providers, administrators, policymakers, business leaders and the people in the communities. Only through mutual understanding of the goals, objectives and concerns of all stakeholders can we realize effective health information system solutions.

Put the logical before the physical

Understanding your program’s business processes and defining its system requirements are the most important steps in developing or acquiring any information system. Analyze your work before you choose a technology solution. Although it sounds simple, developing consensus among stakeholders about the work performed by a system requires a disciplined, analytical approach.

Plan for interoperability

To accomplish the shared mission of maintaining health individuals and communities, public health practitioners and medical providers, hospitals, laboratories, pharmacies, community agencies and the broader health care community must be able to seamlessly engage health information. Information architecture conventions and standards make interoperability of information systems possible.