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 journalArticlepeer-review


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
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This publication was supported by cooperative agreement #1U50CK000187 from the 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 CDC.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. All rights reserved.


  • Communications
  • Emerging infectious diseases
  • Mobile smartphone applications

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