Written by Dave Nyczepir

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a centralized, cloud-based data ecosystem to streamline intra-agency information sharing, according to the deputy director for public health science and surveillance.

Speaking at the National Center for Health Statistics Council of Science Advisors meeting on Thursday, Dan Jernigan said the Enterprise Data Analysis and Visualization (EDAV) platform allows CDC scientists catalog, analyze and publish results faster.

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that the CDC has a data-sharing problem due to its many unique proprietary systems tracking individual diseases, but EDAV allows reuse of forecasting solutions.

“It’s an important way for us to try to have systems that aren’t unique to the pathogen, but are independent of the pathogen and the program,” Jernigan said.

Next, the agency’s Data Modernization Initiative (DMI) will connect EDAV’s core services to its Microsoft Azure cloud environment to revamp siled systems like ArboNET, used to share arbovirus case information.

Although Azure is the primary EDAV environment, CDC sees itself as a multi-cloud environment, and future building blocks and applications will be cloud-agnostic “as much as possible,” Jernigan said. The agency has used architects familiar with different environments and is working with other cloud providers to develop tools that work in multiple environments for public health benefits.

Amazon Web Services is used for the National Syndromic Surveillance Program and Amazon provides the platform for the CDC’s largest data sharing intermediary, the AIMS platform used by the Association of Public Health Laboratories.

DMI is also reinventing the flow of data to the CDC through a consortium, including the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information (ONC), developing a North Star architecture. The future public health ecosystem will ensure that federal, state, and local health department information systems are connected and interoperable.

ONC is developing new data standards, in line with 21st Century Cures Act requirements, which the North Star Architecture will use to reduce the reporting burden on healthcare providers and hospitals, eliminate the need for phone calls and improve nationwide disease forecasting and mitigation.

The CDC has additionally created a Consortium for Data Modernization, with public health partners and industry associations, which meets every two weeks to identify issues and decide who will address them. The agency will also reinstate the Data and Oversight Working Group under the Director’s Advisory Committee this summer.

Finally, the CDC organizes listening sessions with potential private sector partners on the development of prototypes that will move the EMR forward.

“We don’t have all the funding we need to do this,” Jernigan said. “But we will target this funding to launch critical efforts.”

The CDC budgets for EMR based on five priorities: building the right foundation, accelerating data action, workforce, partnerships, and managing change.

Building the right foundation involves obtaining data from the appropriate sources. For example, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is part of a $200 million grant that will fund the standardization of vital statistics, immunization, and laboratory case notification data from electronic health records and other sources.

From there, the CDC will ensure that there is a secure and accessible cloud environment for the data to land and that there are tools available for state and local health departments to analyze the available information.

“We want to be able to have rapid responses to outbreaks and develop common operational pictures,” Jernigan said.

The DMI incorporates data from non-traditional sources, and the CDC received $3 billion through the American Rescue Plan Act for a five-year program grant that will help hire data scientists and others. personal.

Each of the five DMI priorities is associated with an implementation team that builds communities of practice to develop definitions, identify barriers and risks, and set goals and desired outcomes.

“Our ultimate goal is to move from siled and fragile public health data systems to connected, resilient, adaptable and sustainable systems. And that enduring element will be important as we move forward, thinking about how we’re going to continue those efforts – ready-to-react systems that can help us solve problems before they happen and reduce the damage caused by problems that arise happen,” Jernigan said. “So essentially better, faster, actionable intelligence for decision-making at all levels of public health.”

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21st Century Cures Act, US Rescue Plan, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cloud, coronavirus, Dan Jernigan, Data Modernization Initiative, Enterprise Data Analytics and Visualization (EDAV), interoperability, Microsoft Azure, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) , North Star Architecture, Office of the National Health Information Technology Coordinator