Applied analysis-Public Health Nurse- Classmate Response (2): Topic 6 DQ 1
QUESTION- Given the limited amount of statistical calculations required by some public health positions, explain why it is important for you to know how to utilize appropriate software to analyze public health data. Support your ideas with reasons, facts, and examples.
Classmate (Chayah’s) Response-
Technology and ways to track data are becoming an increasingly important in public health. One reason is because it improves responses to urgent public health events including outbreaks of diseases. It can assist with epidemiological investigations including detecting an event, managing exposed persons, and to evaluate the public health response (Hamilton & Hopkins, 2018). During a field investigation decisions and recommendations are made. Which tools to use and how to use them can result in a better investigation with better outcomes for the population. An investigation attempts figure out if an event is local or will likely be bigger such as an epidemic. This can guide what technology may be better to use, this can also change as more information becomes available. In the past more field investigations were more hands on in the field where as now with technology advances there are plenty parts of the investigation that are completed through those means (Hamilton & Hopkins, 2018). Data collection and analysis may be done out of the field using technology. Through recent investment of improving technology in health care there are many things can be used to collect, sort, and analyze public health data. Technology can be software applications, apps, personal health monitoring devices, electronic health records, and computers. It can also be used in public health surveillance systems, databases, and programs to store and manage data (Hamilton & Hopkins, 2018). Technology for data specifically should help to support the workflow of researchers, it should help to create more time for researchers to do other takes to support an investigation (Hamilton & Hopkins, 2018). Given the numerous benefits that the knowledge of technology and specifically utilizing appropriate software to analyze public health data. Saving time and improved accuracy over human error with calculations are some quick benefits. Using SPSS or excel can give a researcher an easier way to complete a variety of statistical tests and easily share the outcomes.
There are so many examples that exist that show how technology and specifically software that assists with analyzing improve public health outcomes. There is currently a text program that one can sign up for to provide reminders in order to increase rates of persons getting their second Covid-19 vaccine. There was also study conducted by Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center that found that while they were trying to help the local population by providing pediatric cataract surgery there were lower rates of those attending the follow up appointments, putting at risk to the initial surgery being successful. Being able to analyze their data alerted them that there was a problem with their current approach (Unite for Sight, n.d.). They developed a tracking system to store the data of those coming and missing their follow up appointment, had an intervention of phone calls to parents, and the results were that they drastically improved follow up numbers (Unite for Sight, n.d.).
Hamilton, J. J. & Hopkins, R. S. (2018). Using Technologies for Data Collection and Management. Epidemiology Training and Resources. https://www.cdc.gov/eis/field-epi-manual/chapters/data-collection-management.html
Unite for Sight. (n.d.). Using Data in Public Health Delivery. http://www.uniteforsight.org/public-health-management/public-health-data
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I agree with you that the development of technology is playing a significant role in advancing public health. The use of personalized devices such as smartphones and phone applications makes it easy for public health practitioners to collect data related to the health of certain populations and better understand the health of such populations. Through technology such as smartphones, public health practitioners have access to data from diverse populations that can allow them to understand the public health needs of such populations better (Budd et al., 2020). For instance, public health practitioners can utilize phone applications to conduct interviews and studies related to the health of certain communities. This is because some phone applications allow users to provide feedback, with such feedback is vital data that public health practitioners can utilize to understand the public health needs of given communities and formulate much-needed interventions. On the other hand, technology such as smartphone applications can be used to implement public health interventions across communities. For example, during the Covid- 19 pandemic, different public health departments in various countries have relied on phone applications to perform important public health functions such as contact tracing, enhancing the distribution of vaccinations, and providing reminders to different members of the population to procure the Covid- 19 vaccine (Uohara et al., 2020). Therefore, the wide application of technology in public health has contributed to the advancement of the discipline and helped increase the chances of better health outcomes among populations. Through technology such as smartphone applications, public health practitioners can include underserved populations in their research and interventions. Therefore, the inclusion of the underserved population in public health initiatives can play a significant role in improving their health outcomes (Uohara et al., 2020).
Budd, J., Miller, B. S., Manning, E. M., Lampos, V., Zhuang, M., Edelstein, M., Rees, G., Emery, V. C., Stevens, M. M., Keegan, N., Short, M. J., Pillay, D., Manley, E., Cox, I. J., Heymann, D., Johnson, A. M., & McKendry, R. A. (2020). Digital technologies in the public-health response to COVID-19. Nature Medicine, 26(8), 1183–1192. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-1011-4
Uohara, M. Y., Weinstein, J. N., & Rhew, D. C. (2020). The Essential Role of Technology in the Public Health Battle Against COVID-19. Population Health Management, 23(5), 361–367. https://doi.org/10.1089/pop.2020.0187