Posted By Monique Dever On October 20, 2014

What is Public Health?

What is public health

I’m pretty sure everyone in Public Health knows what Public Health is, but when it comes to those they serve, most don’t have any idea.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Public health is the science of protecting and improving the health of families and communities through promotion of healthy lifestyles, research for disease and injury prevention and detection and control of infectious diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) says it a bit differently but with the same meaning; Public health refers to all organized measures (whether public or private) to prevent disease, promote health, and prolong life among the population as a whole.


According to the WHO, the three main public health functions are:

  • The assessment and monitoring of the health of communities and populations at risk to identify health problems and priorities.
  • The formulation of public policies designed to solve identified local and national health problems and priorities.
  • To assure that all populations have access to appropriate and cost-effective care, including health promotion and disease prevention services.


Public health departments not only provide quality clinical services, they also work closely with schools, federal and state health agencies, and private providers every day to increase awareness, provide safe environments, and educate and reach out to those who need it.


“Public health organizations have an opportunity to advocate for health in every policy, especially when these organizations reside within a local government. By being part of the system, they can work collaboratively with elected officials and staff to ensure that, for example, master plans include pedestrian and bike friendly streets, parks and trails, and access to healthy foods in every neighborhood. When public health partners with policy makers, more equitable conditions can be created for all residents in a community” says Jan O’Neill, MPA, Community Coach, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps.


“Much of our work produces conditions that, while they may be appreciated, are not associated with public health—like clean water, safe food in restaurants, and healthy children. These are things people value but don’t link to public health.” says Anna Schenck, Associate Dean for Public Health Practice, UNC Gillings Schools of Global Public Health.


Public health is like that perfect waiter or waitress that always keeps your coffee cup filled, just when you want it, without you ever even noticing them. And just like that perfect server, public health is all around you, making it easier for us all to make healthy choices.

About Monique Dever

Monique integrates research and networking with her passion for health and well-being to provide important, up-to-date news, resources and current events to the public health communities. She is the Marketing Executive for Patagonia Health, an Electronic Health Records (EHR) software company focused on the public health sector.

Posted By Abhi Muthiyan On October 24, 2013

Public Health EHR

Designed for Public Health

Patagonia Health stands apart from other vendors because our Electronic Health Record (EHR) solution was designed specifically for Public Health departments. However, we understand that each Public Health department is different and may require unique tools to address their state or local needs. This is why our interface is designed through collaboration with our clients and other partners, so we can deliver a configured solution that meets the needs of our users in the ever-changing healthcare industry. 

Key Benefits:

  • Reporting functionalities to meet county, state, federal, and grant funding requirements
  • Reimbursement tools to decrease denials and dependency on outside funds
  • Master patient indexing for an automatic, seamless transfer of patient data 
  • SaaS-based solution with low IT footprint
  • Unlimited customer support
  • HIPAA and HITRUST Certified
  • ONC Promoting Interoperability Certified
  • 7x Stevie Award Winner for Customer Service

Easy to Use and Learn

We know that for most local health departments, IT training is not a primary focus—patient care is. Our customers say that Patagonia Health apps make it easy to use and learn for any user in a local health department, regardless of background or training level. 

Our Public Health-specific apps meet requirements of clinical, billing, administrative and managerial staff. These apps are designed to capture all of the required data in a structured format via an intelligent user interface. They allow LHDs to improve workflow, increase efficiency, achieve compliance, and get instantaneous access to financial information.

Check out our features page for even more information about our solution.

Other Public Health EHR Apps and Functionalities Include:

  • Immunization, Immunization Inventory, and Mass Vaccination (supportive of programs like VFC and 317 Immunization)
  • Contactless Patient Experience App (including the Patient Portal, MyHealth)
  • Maternal and Child Health & Family Planning (Title X and V, FPAR, and FPAR 2.0)
  • Tuberculosis testing and treatment
  • HIV Case Management
  • Pharmacy (with inventory and reporting that support 340B programs)
  • Telehealth App with ability to view patient clinical charts while face-to-face with patient
  • Management Dashboard (analytics for your Clinical or Health Director)
  • Time and Effort Tracking (for program/ insurance reporting)
  • Ability to have multiple staff in a patient record simultaneously

Supportive of Public Health 3.0

Patagonia Health’s end-to-end solution extends far beyond Electronic Health Records to meet your goals. We are committed to continual development of our solutions to address the modern needs of Public Health organizations. The Public Health 3.0 framework requires multi-system interoperability through your EHR, like bidirectional data exchanges and reporting systems that are compatible with outside organizations. Likewise, it requires partnerships and collaboration from all parties involved with the health department. 

In addition, health equity has always been a driving factor of Public Health. To solve health equity issues, we recognize the importance of the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH). Patagonia Health’s clients take advantage of our EHR solution and the functionalities we have developed to report on SDOH data. We also provide interface capabilities, when available with HIE’s, that helps serve your community members by sharing that information with other types of care providers. 

Modern EHR systems include two core features in order to move towards Healthy People 2030: Digitization of paper documentation and core reporting capabilities. See how we support these features through our EHR functionalities here.