Appendix A: Key terms

As plans to monitor CAMH begin, it is important to ensure a common understanding of key terminology.35 The following table includes terms and definitions related to data collection, use, management and governance.


Term Definition
Data standards The data formats and technical specifications that enable information exchange.
Interoperability The ability of different information technology systems and software applications to communicate, exchange data, and use the information that has been exchanged.
Levels of automation The levels at which systems communicate automatically using information technology.
Policies The procedures and practices that enable systems to exchange information, capabilities, and services.
Project management Refers to well-established and consistently-applied methods and strategies designed to accomplish information system project goals within established timelines and budgets.
Effective use Optimal alignment of workflow processes and software use and the ability to get information out of the systems for reporting and other purposes.
Workforce Strategy A strategy that may include assessment, recruitment, training and development, retention, and succession planning. Informatics workforce strategy may include creating new positions or training existing staff.
Data sharing agreements Used to establish clear parameters for exchange between organizations or operational units within an agency and may include: descriptions of allowable use of data, responsibilities of the parties to the agreement, the legal authority or business reason to share the data, frequency of data exchange, provisions for reporting violations of agreements, and agreement for the purpose of data exchange and on specific data elements to be exchanged.
Funding plan A plan that describes revenue goals and includes measurable objectives or benchmarks, as well as action steps related to the funding strategy. Also may include an analysis of the financial, physical facility, and human resource needs.
Governance process How decisions get made and approved. Could include committees, descriptions of how decisions are made, who has approval authority for what levels of decisions.
Informatics vision A statement of what the center seeks to achieve as a result of establishing a high level of information capability.
Information assets Any definable piece or grouping of information which is managed to bring value to the organization.
Information management Processes and practices that support the acquisition, collection, storage, retrieval, and use of data and information from multiple sources and formats and the distribution of information to multiple audiences.
Information needs Data and information that are required for public health practitioners to accomplish work goals and objectives.
Internal data exchange strategy Systematic, agency-wide, approach to optimize data available within the jurisdiction across programs. For example, birth registration creates records for population-based registries (immunizations, newborn screening); sharing immunization records with WIC or surveillance systems; home water well testing data with home visiting programs.
Strategy Written plan of action for achieving specific goals or outcomes related to information capability.