IBM announced last week a collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Public Health Data Standards Consortium aimed at standardizing the reporting and electronic exchange of public health data. IBM Research scientists will work with the public health officials to create templates for public health case reports which would work with existing Electronic Health Records systems.
Currently, the lack of any standards for electronic public health reporting can result in irregular or delayed reports, leading to duplications or inconsistencies when public health agencies try to track or control major outbreaks of infections such as whooping cough. The new templates would facilitate the sharing of critical public health data among local, county, state, and federal health agencies. IBM said that the new standards would also align with the requirements of the federal meaningful use program, potentially lowering the cost to providers of compliance.
Public health agencies in California, Delaware, and New York are currently testing the use and electronic exchange of public health reports from Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) or EHRs such as Allscripts MyWay, Lytec MD, and Medisoft Clinical. Please contact Microwize Technology for more information on these EHR systems.