Communication between infectious disease physicians and US state and local public health agencies: Strengths, challenges, and opportunities

Scott Santibañez, Philip M. Polgreen, Susan E. Beekmann, Catherine Cairns, Gregory A. Filice, Marcelle Layton, James M. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Strong working relationships between infectious disease (ID) physicians and public health have resulted in the early detection of emerging infectious threats. From May 6 through June 5, 2015, we surveyed ID physicians in the Infectious Diseases Society of America’sEmerging InfectionsNetwork about communications with public health.Atotal of 688of 1491 (46%)members completed the survey, 624 (91%) of whom knew how to reach their health department directly for an urgent issue. Only 38 (6%) described communications with their health department as poor. Interest in newer technologies (eg,mobile smartphone applications) showed mixed results. Interest in a smartphone application differed significantly by years of IDexperience,with 81 of 146 (55%) respondents with <5 years of IDexperience, 172 of 359 (48%) respondentswith 5 to 24 years of ID experience, and 61 of 183 (33%) respondents with ≥25 years of ID experience in favor of a smartphone application (P < .001). As more physicians adopt newer communication technologies, health departments should be prepared to incorporate these tools to communicate with ID physicians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)666-670
Number of pages5
JournalPublic health reports
Volume131
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Keywords

  • Communications
  • Emerging infectious diseases
  • Mobile smartphone applications

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