Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health staff have worked tirelessly to make sense of the extraordinary volumes of data coming at them at different times and in different ways. Because much of this information is unstructured or non-standardized, epidemiologists, scientists, and others must first bring these data into alignment before the real work can begin. The more differences there are in the data, the more painstaking the is work for people on the frontlines trying to put the pieces together fast.
It is a tremendous burden, and one that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working together to fix.
To enable our nation to become more capable of preventing and responding to future health threats, ONC is closely coordinating with the CDC Data Modernization Initiative and other cross-agency programs to help strengthen the systems, tools, and practices on which health agencies rely. One of our primary goals is to develop and adopt data and technology standards so that public health officials are able to act more swiftly, share insights more effectively, and have a greater impact in their communities.
CDC and ONC are working side-by-side with partners across public health, private industry, philanthropy, and academia to:
- Ensure that public health professionals have greater awareness of, and a seat at the table, when data and technology standards are being developed and adopted nationwide.
- Provide public health professionals access to richer and more timely data in ways that put less burden on both data providers and public health agencies.
- Establish modern, scalable, cloud-based capabilities for public health professionals to analyze, interpret, and act on data more quickly and securely.
Together, ONC and CDC, in close coordination with state and local officials, will identify and champion solutions focused on real-world needs of the public health community.
In the coming weeks, we’ll discuss how this important standards and infrastructure work can continue to improve and support better public health, and how ONC and CDC are working closely on these efforts. Make sure to watch the keynote update on ONC-CDC joint data modernization at ONC Tech Forum now on-demand.
This article was originally published on the Health IT Buzz and is syndicated here with permission.