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    Lessons Learned for Identifying and Annotating Permissions in Clinical Consent Forms
    (Thieme, 2021) Umberfield, Elizabeth E.; Jiang, Yun; Fenton, Susan H.; Stansbury, Cooper; Ford, Kathleen; Crist, Kaycee; Kardia, Sharon L. R.; Thomer, Andrea K.; Harris, Marcelline R.; Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health
    Background: The lack of machine-interpretable representations of consent permissions precludes development of tools that act upon permissions across information ecosystems, at scale. Objectives: To report the process, results, and lessons learned while annotating permissions in clinical consent forms. Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of clinical consent forms. We developed an annotation scheme following the MAMA (Model-Annotate-Model-Annotate) cycle and evaluated interannotator agreement (IAA) using observed agreement (A o), weighted kappa (κw ), and Krippendorff's α. Results: The final dataset included 6,399 sentences from 134 clinical consent forms. Complete agreement was achieved for 5,871 sentences, including 211 positively identified and 5,660 negatively identified as permission-sentences across all three annotators (A o = 0.944, Krippendorff's α = 0.599). These values reflect moderate to substantial IAA. Although permission-sentences contain a set of common words and structure, disagreements between annotators are largely explained by lexical variability and ambiguity in sentence meaning. Conclusion: Our findings point to the complexity of identifying permission-sentences within the clinical consent forms. We present our results in light of lessons learned, which may serve as a launching point for developing tools for automated permission extraction.
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    What Are Public Health Agencies Planning for Workforce Development? A Content Analysis of Workforce Development Plans of Accredited Public Health Departments
    (Wolters Kluwer, 2023) Yeager, Valerie A.; Burns, Ashlyn B.; Lang, Britt; Kronstadt, Jessica; Hughes, Monica J.; Gutta, Jyotsna; Kirkland, Chelsey; Orr, Jason; Leider, Jonathon P.; Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health
    Objective: Recruiting and retaining public health employees and ensuring they have the skills necessary to respond are vital for meeting public health needs. As the first study examining health department (HD) workforce development plans (WDPs), this study presents gaps and strategies identified in WDPs across 201 accredited HDs (168 initial/33 reaccreditation plans). Design: This cross-sectional study employed qualitative review and content analysis of WDPs submitted to the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) between March 2016 and November 2021. Main outcome measures: Eight overarching workforce themes were examined: planning/coordination, leadership, organizational culture, workplace supports/retention, recruitment, planning for departmental training, delivery of departmental training, and partnership/engagement. Within each theme, related subthemes were identified. Coders indicated whether the WDP (1) identified the subtheme as a gap; (2) stated an intent to address the subtheme; and/or (3) identified a strategy for addressing the subtheme. Results: The most common gaps identified included prepare workforce for community engagement/partnership (34.3%, n = 69), followed by resource/fund training (24.9%, n = 50). The subtheme that had the most instances of an identified strategy to address it was assess training needs (84.1%, n = 169), followed by foster quality improvement (QI) culture/provide QI training (63.2%, n = 127). While both of these strategies were common among the majority of HDs, those subthemes were rarely identified as a gap. Secondary findings indicate that increase recruitment diversity/recruit from a more diverse applicant pool was rarely identified as a gap (6.0%, n = 12) and rarely had an identified strategy for addressing the subtheme (9.0%, n = 18). Conclusion: While HDs recognized many workforce gaps, HDs did not always propose a strategy for addressing them within the WDP. Conversely, some WDPs proposed strategies for subthemes that did not reflect recognized gaps. Such discrepancies between identified gaps and strategies in WDPs may suggest areas where HDs could use additional support and guidance.
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    Qualitative Insights From Governmental Public Health Employees About Experiences Serving During the COVID-19 Pandemic, PH WINS 2021
    (Wolters Kluwer, 2023) Yeager, Valerie A.; Madsen, Emilie R.; Schaffer, Kay; Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health
    Objective: The purpose of the current study was to examine governmental public health employee experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Design and setting: A total of 5169 responses to a PH WINS 2021 open-ended question were qualitatively coded. The question asked employees to share their experiences during the COVID-19 response. The 15 most common themes are discussed. Participants: Responses from governmental public health employees in state health agencies (SHAs), big cities (Big City Health Coalition or BCHC agencies), and local health departments (LHDs) across all 50 states were included. Results: The most frequently identified theme was pride in public health work and/or the mission of public health (20.8%), followed by leadership (17.2%), burnout or feeling overwhelmed (14%), communication (11.7%), and overtime/extra work (9.7%). Among the top 15 themes identified, comments about pride in public health work and/or the mission of public health (95.9%), teamwork (81.5%), and telework (61%) were predominantly positive. Co-occurring themes for responses that expressed pride in public health work and/or the mission of public health were often countered with explanations of why respondents remain frustrated, including feeling burned out or overwhelmed , disappointment with the community's sense of responsibility or trust in science , and feeling unappreciated either by the community or their agency. All of these co-occurring themes were predominantly negative. Conclusions: Employees are proud to work in public health and value teamwork but often felt overworked and unappreciated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reviewing existing emergency preparedness protocols in the context of lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic and listening to employees' experiences with teleworking and task sharing may better prepare agencies for future challenges. Creating channels for clear communication during a period of changing information and guidelines may help employees feel more prepared and valued during an emergency response.
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    Defining safety net hospitals in the health services research literature: a systematic review and critical appraisal
    (BMC, 2021-03-25) Hefner, Jennifer L.; Hogan, Tory Harper; Opoku-Agyeman, William; Menachemi, Nir; Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health
    Background: The aim of this study was to identify the range of ways that safety net hospitals (SNHs) have been empirically operationalized in the literature and determine the extent to which patterns could be identified in the use of empirical definitions of SNHs. Methods: We conducted a PRISMA guided systematic review of studies published between 2009 and 2018 and analyzed 22 articles that met the inclusion criteria of hospital-level analyses with a clear SNH definition. Results: Eleven unique SNH definitions were identified, and there were no obvious patterns in the use of a definition category (Medicaid caseload, DSH payment status, uncompensated care, facility characteristics, patient care mix) by the journal type where the article appeared, dataset used, or the year of publication. Conclusions: Overall, there is broad variability in the conceptualization of, and variables used to define, SNHs. Our work advances the field toward the development of standards in measuring, operationalizing, and conceptualizing SNHs across research and policy questions.
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    Application for Public Health Accreditation Among US Local Health Departments in 2013 to 2019: Impact of Service and Activity Mix
    (American Public Health Association, 2021) Leider, Jonathon P.; Kronstadt, Jessica; Yeager, Valerie A.; Hall, Kellie; Saari, Chelsey K.; Alford, Aaron; Tremmel Freeman, Lori; Kuehnert, Paul; Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health
    Objectives: To examine correlates of applying for accreditation among small local health departments (LHDs) in the United States through 2019. Methods: We used administrative data from the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) and 2013, 2016, and 2019 Profile data from the National Association of County and City Health Officials to examine correlates of applying for PHAB accreditation. We fit a latent class analysis (LCA) to characterize LHDs by service mix and size. We made bivariate comparisons using the t test and Pearson χ2. Results: By the end of 2019, 126 small LHDs had applied for accreditation (8%). When we compared reasons for not pursuing accreditation, we observed a difference by size for perceptions that standards exceeded LHD capacity (47% for small vs 22% for midsized [P < .001] and 0% for large [P < .001]). Conclusions: Greater funding support, considering differing standards by LHD size, and recognition that service mix might affect practicality of accreditation are all relevant considerations in attempting to increase uptake of accreditation for small LHDs. Public Health Implications: Overall, small LHDs represented about 60% of all LHDs that had not yet applied to PHAB.
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    Use of Electronic Health Records on Days Off: Comparing Physicians to Other EHR Users
    (Springer, 2021) Apathy, Nate C.; Harle, Christopher A.; Vest, Joshua R.; Morea, Justin; Menachemi, Nir; Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health
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    Quantifying Electronic Health Record Data Quality in Telehealth and Office-Based Diabetes Care
    (Thieme, 2022) Wiley, Kevin K.; Mendonca, Eneida; Blackburn, Justin; Menachemi, Nir; De Groot, Mary; Vest, Joshua R.; Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health
    Objective: Data derived from the electronic health record (EHR) are commonly reused for quality improvement, clinical decision-making, and empirical research despite having data quality challenges. Research highlighting EHR data quality concerns has largely been examined and identified during traditional in-person visits. To understand variations in data quality among patients managing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) with and without a history of telehealth visits, we examined three EHR data quality dimensions: timeliness, completeness, and information density. Methods: We used EHR data (2016-2021) from a local enterprise data warehouse to quantify timeliness, completeness, and information density for diagnostic and laboratory test data. Means and chi-squared significance tests were computed to compare data quality dimensions between patients with and without a history of telehealth use. Results: Mean timeliness or T2DM measurement age for the study sample was 77.8 days (95% confidence interval [CI], 39.6-116.4). Mean completeness for the sample was 0.891 (95% CI, 0.868-0.914). The mean information density score was 0.787 (95% CI, 0.747-0.827). EHR data for patients managing T2DM with a history of telehealth use were timelier (73.3 vs. 79.8 days), and measurements were more uniform across visits (0.795 vs. 0.784) based on information density scores, compared with patients with no history of telehealth use. Conclusion: Overall, EHR data for patients managing T2DM with a history of telehealth visits were generally timelier and measurements were more uniform across visits than for patients with no history of telehealth visits. Chronic disease care relies on comprehensive patient data collected via hybrid care delivery models and includes important domains for continued data quality assessments prior to secondary reuse purposes.
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    The impact of rural general hospital closures on communities-A systematic review of the literature
    (Wiley, 2023-11-20) Mills, Carol A.; Yeager, Valerie A.; Unroe, Kathleen T.; Holmes, Ann; Blackburn, Justin; Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health
    Purpose: To compile the literature on the effects of rural hospital closures on the community and summarize the evidence, specifically the health and economic impacts, and identify gaps for future research. Methods: A systematic review of the relevant peer-reviewed literature, published from January 2005 through December 2021, included in the EMBASE, CINAHL, PubMed, EconLit, and Business Source Complete databases, as well as "gray" literature published during the same time period. A total of 21 articles were identified for inclusion. Findings: Over 90% of the included studies were published in the last 8 years, with nearly three-fourths published in the last 4 years. The most common outcomes studied were economic outcomes and employment (76%), emergent, and non-emergent transportation, which includes transport miles and travel time (42.8%), access to and supply of health care providers (38%), and quality of patient outcomes (19%). Eighty-nine percent of the studies that examined economic impacts found unfavorable results, including decreased income, population, and community economic growth, and increased poverty. Between 11 and 15.7 additional minutes were required to transport patients to the nearest emergency facility after closures. A lack of consistency in measures and definition of rurality challenges comparability across studies. Conclusions: The comprehensive impact of rural hospital closures on communities has not been well studied. Research shows predominantly negative economic outcomes as well as increased time and distance required to access health care services. Additional research and consistency in the outcome measures and definition of rurality is needed to characterize the downstream impact of rural hospital closures.
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    Hospital Partnerships for Population Health: A Systematic Review of the Literature
    (Wolters Kluwer, 2021) Ellis Hilts, Katy; Yeager, Valerie A.; Gibson, P. Joseph; Halverson, Paul K.; Blackburn, Justin; Menachemi, Nir; Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health
    The U.S. healthcare system continues to experience high costs and suboptimal health outcomes that are largely influenced by social determinants of health. National policies such as the Affordable Care Act and value-based payment reforms incentivize healthcare systems to engage in strategies to improve population health. Healthcare systems are increasingly expanding or developing new partnerships with community-based organizations to support these efforts. We conducted a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature in the United States to identify examples of hospital-community partnerships; the main purposes or goals of partnerships; study designs used to assess partnerships; and potential outcomes (e.g., process- or health-related) associated with partnerships. Using robust keyword searches and a thorough reference review, we identified 37 articles published between January 2008 and December 2019 for inclusion. Most studies employed descriptive study designs (n = 21); health needs assessments were the most common partnership focus (n = 15); and community/social service (n = 21) and public health organizations (n = 15) were the most common partner types. Qualitative findings suggest hospital-community partnerships hold promise for breaking down silos, improving communication across sectors, and ensuring appropriate interventions for specific populations. Few studies in this review reported quantitative findings. In those that did, results were mixed, with the strongest support for improvements in measures of hospitalizations. This review provides an initial synthesis of hospital partnerships to address population health and presents valuable insights to hospital administrators, particularly those leading population health efforts.
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    Practice and market factors associated with provider volume of health information exchange
    (Oxford University Press, 2021) Apathy, Nate C.; Vest, Joshua R.; Adler-Milstein, Julia; Blackburn, Justin; Dixon, Brian E.; Harle, Christopher A.; Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health
    Objective: To assess the practice- and market-level factors associated with the amount of provider health information exchange (HIE) use. Materials and methods: Provider and practice-level data was drawn from the Meaningful Use Stage 2 Public Use Files from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Physician Compare National Downloadable File, and the Compendium of US Health Systems, among other sources. We analyzed the relationship between provider HIE use and practice and market factors using multivariable linear regression and compared primary care providers (PCPs) to non-PCPs. Provider volume of HIE use is measured as the percentage of referrals sent with electronic summaries of care (eSCR) reported by eligible providers attesting to the Meaningful Use electronic health record (EHR) incentive program in 2016. Results: Providers used HIE in 49% of referrals; PCPs used HIE in fewer referrals (43%) than non-PCPs (57%). Provider use of products from EHR vendors was negatively related to HIE use, while use of Athenahealth and Greenway Health products were positively related to HIE use. Providers treating, on average, older patients and greater proportions of patients with diabetes used HIE for more referrals. Health system membership, market concentration, and state HIE consent policy were unrelated to provider HIE use. Discussion: HIE use during referrals is low among office-based providers with the capability for exchange, especially PCPs. Practice-level factors were more commonly associated with greater levels of HIE use than market-level factors. Conclusion: This furthers the understanding that market forces, like competition, may be related to HIE adoption decisions but are less important for use once adoption has occurred.