Using public health evaluation models to assess health IT implementations
Essential elements of public health program evaluation can be applied to the evaluation of health information technology (health IT). Integrating the framework of public health evaluation with existing best practices in health IT evaluation can yield a more robust set of methods within a proven framework than either alone. This combined approach is of particular importance given the rapid pace of health IT implementation due to funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. In this paper, we outline the importance of evaluation in health IT, elements of public health program evaluation, and special considerations for health IT. We review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) public health evaluation model and how it can be adapted and applied to assessments of health IT applications.