Call for paper
Title: Informatics supporting the international primary care response to the pandemic and beyond
Short title: Primary care informatics adapting to pandemics
Editorial group: Siaw-Teng Liaw and Heimar Marin with guest editors: Simon De Lusignan, Craig Kuziemsky, Richard Schreiber, Amanda Terry, Harshana Liyanage, Jitendra Jonnagaddala, Zoie Wong.
Introduction and call for papers
The COVID-19 pandemic and infodemic1 has stimulated response mechanisms across the health, education, commercial and social sectors.2 Digital solutions have been variably implemented as promising approaches to provide access and decrease the risk of infections. These include telehealth and virtual care, including virtual triaging, remote patient monitoring, continuous virtual monitoring, and transition of outpatient care to telehealth.3 Social media platforms such as Twitter and Google Trends have been used to model and monitor impacts on the patient and community.4 Health Informatics enabled innovations, including integrated electronic health records and telehealth systems, enable monitoring and tracking patients through the in- and post-pandemic continuum of care. Education and training is also needed to enhance citizens’ and health care providers’ engagement with these new and reconfigured technologies.
The mental health and well-being of citizens and their families has been adversely affected by COVID-19 lockdowns5 and the associated job losses and financial stress. It has also exposed the deepest flaws, fractures, and inequities (poverty & ethnicity) within our health care and social service systems. However, understanding the disparities in COVID-19 infections and deaths will require community information with individual-level health data to provide insights into causal mechanisms of poverty, structural racism and other social drivers.6 The need for essential resources and capacity to sustainably meet needs equitably across the “divides” in our societies requires a commitment to build information systems that also address social determinants of health.7
Last but not least, ethical challenges will arise as privacy and security considerations collide with public health imperatives. Disparities, especially among vulnerable populations, may be further exacerbated by the health and economic impacts of the pandemic and the expanding digital divide. Potential barriers to acceptability include users’ cultural, moral, and religious backgrounds may raise barriers to acceptability of digital solutions.
This call is for papers that describe and critically appraise how national and/or international primary care informatics has underpinned the adaptation of digital tools to the COVID-19 pandemic and to support the re-tooling and re-organisation of primary care to become a flexible and agile system. Papers may address one or more of the following:
Virtual primary care consultations, including “telehealth”;
Models of virtual care implemented and/or evaluated;
Information systems for testing, tracing and surveillance in-pandemic, and/or continuing care post-pandemic;
Interventions led by primary care teams to address impacts of COVID-19;
Education & training innovations;
Ethical, legal and social issues including trust, reliability, privacy & security, equity & access;
Policy development and implementation;
Research including observational studies using real-world data; and
Any natural experiments identified and impacts studied.
The paper should include a targeted literature reviews and use cases on informatics guiding/supporting the adaptation of primary care to the COVID-19 pandemic. Authors should summarise/synthesise the changes implemented, identify benefits, risks, challenges and enablers/barriers and synthesise the information for the country. Discussion should include proposed strategies and models for reorganising primary care in their country contexts.
Contact for more details:
Paper submission in IJMI Editorial Manager System –
Duration – Timeline
Opens in Dec 20 – Jan 21
Period of peer-review process – 3 Months (Jan – Mar 21)
Revised manuscript due + Final acceptance – 2 Months (Apr – Jun 2021)
Estimated Publication date – 6 Months – Target: 30 Jun2021
(References may be included)
1. Eysenbach G. How to Fight an Infodemic: The Four Pillars of Infodemic Management. J Med Internet Res 2020; 22: e21820. DOI: 10.2196/21820.
2. Dwivedi YK, Hughes DL, Coombs C, et al. Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on information management research and practice: Transforming education, work and life. International Journal of Information Management 2020: 102211. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2020.102211.
3. Ford D, Harvey JB, McElligott J, et al. Leveraging Health System Telehealth and Informatics Infrastructure to Create a Continuum of Services for COVID-19 Screening, Testing, and Treatment. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 2020. DOI: 10.1093/jamia/ocaa157.
4. Fagherazzi G, Goetzinger C, Rashid MA, et al. Digital Health Strategies to Fight COVID-19 Worldwide: Challenges, Recommendations, and a Call for Papers. J Med Internet Res 2020; 22: e19284. DOI: 10.2196/19284.
5. Fisher JR, Tran TD, Hammarberg K, et al. Mental health of people in Australia in the first month of COVID-19 restrictions: a national survey. Med J Aust 2020; Preprint 10 June.
6. Adhikari S, Pantaleo NP, Feldman JM, et al. Assessment of Community-Level Disparities in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Infections and Deaths in Large US Metropolitan Areas. JAMA Network Open 2020; 3: e2016938-e2016938. DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.16938.
7. Quinn A and Laws M. Addressing Community Needs and Preparing for the Secondary Impacts of Covid-19. N Engl J Med Catalyst 2020.