Public Health Information Systems Are Not Just About Technology

Public health information systems have always been a key component of the healthcare ecosystem. Links between clinical care and public health have only been increasing, propelled by the pandemic. As defined by the Public Health Informatics Institute (PHII) in its 2021 Immunization Information System (IIS) Core Competency Model, information systems management is the “application and administration of technologies to securely and effectively meet IIS program and user needs”. The pandemic highlighted the need for public health information systems to collect, track, and monitor vaccine administration for ages newborn through adulthood, and mandated data to be reported or accessible to a broad range of recipients at the local, state and federal level.

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The Changing Face of Public Health System Procurement

The development and acquisition of public health systems is poised to change. Historically, public health agencies had the classic choice when it came to acquiring a new data system. Either they developed the system themselves – usually based on a belief that their requirements were “unique” – or they licensed a COTS/GOTS product from the limited choices available in a small market. Typically, agencies that chose to develop solutions were forced to use a waterfall approach as government procurement is not well suited to the flexibility of Agile systems development. Some agencies have been able to leverage open source offerings. While most do not have the wherewithal to support open source products themselves, many have formed strong partnerships with other organizations, both for-profit and nonprofit, to take advantage of these systems.

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A Guide To Productivity Management In Open Source Projects

Open source is one of the most important technology trends of our time. It’s the lifeblood of the digital economy and the preeminent way that software-based innovation happens today. In fact, it’s estimated that over 90% of software released today contains open source libraries. There's no doubt the open source model is effective and impactful. But is there still room for improvement? When comparing the broader software industry’s processes to that of open source communities, one big gap stands out: productivity management. By and large, open source project leads and maintainers have been slow to adopt modern productivity and project management practices and tools commonly embraced by startups and enterprises to drive the efficiency and predictability of software development processes. It’s time we examine how the application of these approaches and capabilities can improve the management of open source projects for the better.

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