Modernizing Public Health Data

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The Current Infrastructure

The United States’ public health data system relies on antiquated, fragmented, time-consuming, and error-prone processes—such as paper records, faxes, and phone calls—which impacts: quality, timeliness, and communication of public health responses, such as notification of an infectious disease outbreak. 

The current public health data infrastructure also lacks automation, security, interoperability, and a skilled workforce, which will successfully confront public health threats today and tomorrow. 

The Role of Modernization

By modernizing public health data infrastructure and public health surveillance (interactive system of government public health agencies), public health officials and policymakers will have access to larger, more accurate, and faster public health data yielded by secure, interoperable, and integrated systems. 

This modernization will allow for better decisions to be made and for officials and experts to get ahead of chronic, emerging, and urgent threats facing our state, local, tribal, and territorial communities.

Where does SHEA stand?

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) supports proposed legislation to modernize public health data, transmission and surveillance systems to save lives in our state, local, tribal, and territorial communities.

SHEA urges Congress to appropriate $1 billion over 10 years beginning in FY2020. SHEA believes these funds are needed to modernize state, local, tribal, and territorial public health data systems to ensure the safety of the greater public.

What is SHEA doing about this?

SHEA is working with coalition partners to urge Congress to pass legislation that will advance these goals and support data modernization. SHEA is also encouraging members of Congress to appropriate funding in FY 2020 and beyond to move this effort forward and begin the important work of bringing public health data systems into the 21st century.

How can I get involved?

SHEA understands and appreciates your desire to stay informed and to get directly involved in SHEA’s next steps. To receive regular updates and to receive instructions on how to get involved, join SHEA’s Grassroots Network by texting PREVENTION to 52886 or sending an email with the subject line “Subscribe.”

To become involved on social media, use the hashtag #BetterDataBetterLives.

Currently Proposed Legislation 

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