Community Health Monitoring Systems of Health Informatics - A Case Study Applying the Computational Hypothesis

Author: Chiehwen E. Hsu, MPH, MS

Primary Advisor: James P. Turley, PhD

Committee Members: Todd R. Johnson, PhD; Carl Slater, MD

Masters thesis, The University of Texas Health Science Center School of Allied Health Sciences at Houston

Community Health Monitoring System (CHMS) relates to the collection of community health data and making available health information for the community to use. This paper outlines the activities associated with the CHMS, describes how they are related to health informatics practice, and examines the input and output components to illustrate the framework for conceptualizing the CHMS in operation. By defining three major types of CHMS and describing their respective functionalities and goals, this paper then discusses the computational hypothesis as the framework for analysis, characterizes the associations between the input and output in the operation of a CHMS, and employs this framework to review two cases of CHMS in practice. Finally, it addresses potential problems or misapplications of outcome measures, including the selection of indicators, validity of measures and its policy implications, and discusses the strengths and weaknesses in the comparisons or ranking of outcome measures, along with the presentation of the CHMS in a context that affords the local community to make thoughtful comparisons.