Lab Matters Winter 2023 | Page 30


Fostering Trust Through Candid ColLABoration

By Sean Hannigan , specialist , Informatics
In the dynamic realm of public health laboratory informatics , a profound transformation is underway . As the digital age advances , technology intertwines with the mission to protect and improve public health . Public health laboratory experts find themselves at the intersection of data , technology and healthcare , navigating a complex landscape that demands innovation and collaboration . With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic , the need for laboratory informaticians to connect with colleagues became more crucial than ever before . They needed mechanisms to compare solutions and approaches , standardize data for reporting and , in short , find ways to make sense of the staggering volumes of testing data and demands . One way that APHL was able to help foster that critical community was in the expansion of groups on ColLABorate , APHL ’ s online community . This included a variety of system-specific laboratory information management system ( LIMS ) user groups and the launch of the Public Health Laboratory Informatics Community , as well as several others outside of the informatics domain .
The Power of Open Dialogue
Trust is the cornerstone of effective public health communication . For laboratory experts , cultivating trust begins within their own professional community . The
APHL ColLABorate communities provide a unique platform where laboratory professionals from diverse backgrounds can engage in open and candid discussions . In this space , transparency reigns supreme . Members openly discuss the challenges they face , the lessons they have learned , and the innovative solutions they have devised .
Sharing Evidence-Based Knowledge
In the digital age , the information landscape is flooded with data — much of it unverified or misleading . Trust in public health communications hinges on the foundation of credible , evidencebased information . APHL ColLABorate communities serve as a knowledge exchange hub where members share their expertise , research findings and data-driven insights . This knowledge sharing is underpinned by rigorous research and real-world experience . Members contribute their expertise , backed by findings and best practices . As a result , the information disseminated through these communities is not only reliable but trustworthy .
The Collaborative Advantage
In the intricate world of public health , collaboration is key . Complex health challenges demand a multidisciplinary approach , bringing together experts from various domains . APHL ColLABorate communities serve as catalysts for such collaboration , enabling laboratory professionals to work collectively on intricate issues and leveraging the collective wisdom and experience of the community . This results in more robust and effective solutions .
Transparency in Decision-Making
Public health communication frequently involves critical decision making that impacts the well-being of entire communities . The APHL ColLABorate communities provide insight into these decision-making processes within the public health sector . Transparency in decision-making is a vital component of building trust . When laboratory experts engage in open discussions about the factors influencing decisions and the expertise that informs them , it reinforces trust . Transparency fosters an understanding of why certain actions are taken , helping the public recognize the thought and expertise that goes into public health decisions . This bolsters trust in the decisions themselves and the professionals making them .
A Trust-Building Imperative
In the evolving landscape of public health laboratory informatics , trust is the bedrock upon which effective communication is built . APHL ColLABorate communities play a pivotal role in nurturing this trust through open dialogue , evidence and experiencebased knowledge sharing , collaboration , peer review and transparency . APHL ’ s ColLABorate discussion boards have a wide range of area-specific topics beyond public health Informatics including biosafety , microbiology , environmental surveillance , public health bench science and the laboratory directors community , to name just a few . As we grow to meet the needs of our members , our communities of knowledge grow too . g
This article was 100 % funded with federal funds from a federal program of $ 9,896,188 . The production of this article was supported by Cooperative Agreement # NU60OE000104 , funded by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of , nor an endorsement by , CDC , HHS or the US Government .
28 LAB MATTERS Winter 2023
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