Federal Agencies Look to EHRs, HIEs for Real-Time Public Health Reporting | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Federal Agencies Look to EHRs, HIEs for Real-Time Public Health Reporting

August 16, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Public Health Data Standards Consortium (PHDSC) are collaborating with the Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM to standardize the exchange and use of public health information through digital platforms to better control healthcare quality and care. The main purpose of the collaboration, IBM says, is to control major outbreaks of infections such as flu strains.

One of IBM’s research arms, IBM Research, is working with the CDC and PHDSC to develop a new approach to defining and delivering public health reporting by drawing insights from structured and unstructured data that currently exists in disparate systems. IBM says they are creating templates for public health case reports that could work with EHR systems. This, IBM says, would aim to allow critical information in the proper format to be easily shared among local, county, state and federal public health agencies to speed up response times.

"The state of a national healthcare infrastructure can be vastly improved through better management of data and an improved understanding of how healthcare services are delivered," states Nikolay Lipskiy, M.D., Health IT standards and interoperability lead for the CDC. "This collaboration is an opportunity to reduce disparities, improve control of infectious diseases, with the aim of building standardized electronic healthcare systems that is accountable for the health of our communities and our country.

Already, this kind of technology is being piloted with public health information systems in Delaware, New York State, and San Diego County. Using EHR systems and health information exchanges (HIEs) to validate and exchange test public health case reports. IBM says with real-time, meaningful data that exist within EHR systems, public health data reporting can be more effective.

The template tools were built on standards required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) EHR incentive program. With these templates, IBM claims, EHR systems will be able to automatically capture most components of a public health case report, such as a doctor visit, a test result, or a prescribed medication.

“This standards-based integration of public health and clinical systems for electronic data exchanges will help improve the effectiveness of public health programs, the quality of care and the health of the public,” Anna Orlova, M.D., executive director, Public Health Data Standards Consortium, said in a statement.

Topics

News

HIMSS Names Hal Wolf as New President and CEO

The Chicago-based Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) has named Harold “Hal” Wolf III as its new president and CEO, to succeed H. Stephen Lieber.

ONC Seeking Feedback on Common Agreement and Exchange Framework

On Monday, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) kicked off the first of three meetings and webinars to inform the public about the department’s work related to the implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act trusted exchange framework and common agreement provisions.

NIH Announces First Community Partners for All of Us Research Effort

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced its first four community partner awards to begin building a national network of recruiters for its All of Us Research Program, part of the Precision Medicine Initiative.

Survey: Clinicians Rate Biometric Devices as Most Effective Patient Engagement Tech

There are many technologies for engaging patients in their own care, but according to a survey of members of the NEJM Catalyst Insights Council, patient portals are not viewed as the most effective technology for patient engagement initiatives.

Pragmatic Clinical Trials Network to Focus on Genomic Medicine Interventions

The federal National Human Genome Research Institute has announced a five-year effort to conduct pragmatic clinical trials to measure the clinical utility and cost-effectiveness of genomic medicine interventions and assess approaches for real-world application of genomic medicine in diverse clinical settings.

Six State HIEs Now Participating in Patient Center Data Home Across the West

An HIE-to-HIE hub, known as the Patient Centered Data Home and spearheaded by SHIEC, is expanding across the West, with six states now connected and exchanging admission, discharge and transfer notifications for patients.