Public Health Informatics Institute
Public Health Informatics Institute
A Program of the Task Force for Global Health
325 Swanton Way
Decatur, GA 30030
David A. Ross, ScD
Deputy Director for Management and Operations
Anita Renahan-White, MPH
Deputy Director for Program Development
Ellen Wild, MPH
The Public Health Informatics Institute (the Institute), a program of the Task Force for Global Health, works to improve health outcomes worldwide by transforming health practitioners’ ability to apply information effectively. The Institute works with public health organizations both domestically and internationally through a variety of projects funded by government agencies and private foundations.
Selected OSTLTS-funded projects
- e-Public health: The Institute supports the Public Health Informatics and Technology Program Office (PHITPO) within CDC’s Office for Surveillance, Epidemiology and Laboratory Services (OSELS) to guide the transformation of information and information technologies for a digital information era and help focus public health informatics policy and funding on priority areas that are feasible and essential to the effectiveness and credibility of public health agencies in their use of information and information technologies.
- Evaluating communities of practice: The Institute supports OSTLTS to facilitate and evaluate community of practice activities. The Institute provided CDC with an evaluation report on CDC’s communities of practice.
Selected CDC-funded informatics projects
- Countermeasures Inventory Tracking: The Institute is working with OSELS/PHITPO on the Countermeasures Inventory Tracking System to increase the capacity of all levels of public health (local, state, and federal) to track and manage inventory of medical countermeasures, material, and equipment, specifically during an emergency response event. The Institute developed a self-assessment/gap analysis tool and set of instructions, provided CDC with a list of applicants eligible for funding, developed training and communication materials to introduce the tool to other potential users, and developed a request for proposals and scoring criteria for jurisdictions to apply for funding for system upgrade and development of interoperability interfaces.
- Distribute project: The Institute works with OSELS’ Division of Notifiable Diseases and Healthcare Information to support the International Society for Disease Surveillance’s Distribute project, a public health information system for syndromic surveillance of influenza-like illness that collects aggregated, de-identified data electronically from emergency departments by state and local health jurisdictions. The Institute’s final recommendations included core processes and electronic health record (EHR) requirements for public health syndromic surveillance, a data quality monitoring and anomaly response guide, and Distribute Case Study: Applying Local Perspective to a National Vision for Flu Surveillance.
- Enhanced technical assistance project: The Institute works with the Immunization Information Systems Support Branch within CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases to advance the effective use and maturity of immunization information systems by working collaboratively with states to identify and address technical and policy needs. The Institute assisted with documenting recommendations for updated minimum functional standards for immunization information systems.
- Joint Public Health Informatics Taskforce: The Institute is working with OSELS/PHITPO to serve as the Secretariat to the Joint Public Health Informatics Taskforce, which was formed to forge and maintain a consensus strategy and coordinated action to provide a shared informatics framework for public health agencies and their partners. The Institute helped develop the Joint Public Health Informatics Taskforce Consensus Framework and Action Plan, document policy priorities for public health informatics, and produce states’ meaningful use readiness assessment.
- Public health electronic health record: The Institute works with OSELS/PHITPO on the use of the Institute’s Collaborative Requirements Development Methodology™ (CRDM™) to define requirements all health departments can use to determine which existing EHR system best meets their needs or to assist in the development of a custom EHR system. Documentation of the business processes and information system requirements is currently under development and will enable public health agencies and their partners to make informed decisions on buying or building EHR systems.
The Institute was founded in 1992 as All Kids Count, a program funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. All Kids Count was instrumental in the development of immunization registries — one of the first widely implemented public health information systems — and in the development of integrated child health information systems. All Kids Count evolved into the Public Health Informatics Institute in 2002. Building on the lessons learned from All Kids Count, the Institute formulated the CRDM™, a strategic approach to assisting public health organizations to apply and manage information effectively to advance their population health goals.