The Information Age
Various forms of innovations are becoming more and more commonplace in our new information age. The way these technologies, gadgets, and goods integrate themselves as part of our routines create efficiencies, comforts and access unimaginable just 30 years ago. With the ability to use the technology around us we are able to communicate, plan and deliver services and goods globally. Our continuously changing landscape of technology and information are answering questions in medicine, commerce, public health and emergency preparedness.
As public health professionals, information is critical and the more the better. Layers of information can create a clearer picture just as a jigsaw puzzle piece would add more of the picture to view. Our epidemiologist and data scientists are looking at new census data and recent population health data to predict what the healthcare needs will be in 2050. Information on population migration and job opportunities guide city development and investments. With these new possibilities in the information age, it requires a fair level of scrutiny.
Information is as useful as it is abundant.
With information being so abundant there is bound to be conflicting or opposing information. Information is as abundant as it is useful, this also adds a layer of complexity around security, credibility, and what’s current. For example, when information around COVID-19 during the pandemic created challenges around security, credibility and the importance of up-to-date information this had adverse impacts on disease spread, commerce, access and mortality. Knowing how to read or interpret data is invaluable when wanting to know what is important to look for in all the information around us.
How is public health using data to help solve problems?
What to look for, or identifying key metrics helps public health and emergency preparedness professionals hyperfocus on what matters most. In responding and serving communities, items, problems and situations needing immediate attention will fall into two categories; important or urgent. Urgent matters require action now, whereas important situations need our attention, but no immediate action. Understanding data and what to look for will allow us to address urgent matters while monitoring those important issues that may become urgent if not tracked.
What is important information to know in the age of information?
Knowing when information is needed (frequency) or how often is captured will give insight into how up to date the information is. Some data takes years to process, while other sources may take a few months. Looking for useful information can also create challenges. Data serves a purpose; to answer a question. If you know what question you want answered, it will make it easier to find the organization, site or article to look for. Triangulating your information is also a best practice when gathering an opinion or decision on a matter. Just as each friendship looks different, but provides value, we can look to various forms of information to add depth and value to our understanding.
In the information age, where should you get your information?
Where we get our information says a lot about us. Take stock in where you like to consume your information and see if you can find any similarities. Trusted information is the most useful information; however, it is not the only information. Data has the potential to change how we interact, see, and participate in the world, country, state, county, or city around us.
How can information create change?
Information allows us to know where we can go, and how to get there. It can also create opportunities, advancements, and value to everything that it’s built on. The opposite is true which is why security, credibility and current information is needed for effective change and lifesaving response.
The barriers around security and credibility require policies, protocols, and procedures to be in place to ensure that sensitive information can be shared timely. Just as outdated information can have negative effects on public health and preparedness efforts, much life misinformation. How we share information and what information can be share shapes the landscape of care, commerce, investments and community response. It is for this reason our first responders, emergency managers and public health partners work closely to inform policy that allows for safe and innovative data sharing practices.
Guild Health Group helps our customers make sense of their data everyday by turning their information into plans, evaluative program, and marketing reports. Let your data change how your impact by ensuring it’s secure, credible and current.
To connect with us, follow us or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.
Jason Gillette, CEO
Guild Health Group