How We’re Modernizing

CDC worked with jurisdictions and CDC programs to develop six high-level, multi-year goals for modernizing the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System Base System (NBS):

  • Reduce operating burden on jurisdictions, increase performance, and deliver new features faster.
  • Increase the timeliness, quality, and utility of data coming into NBS.
  • Improve the timeliness, accessibility, accuracy, and completeness of data available to jurisdiction epidemiologists, CDC programs, and others.
  • Ease CDC case notification burden by expanding NBS to support all case reporting to CDC.
  • Provide more flexible and efficient case investigation and management tools and new outbreak detection and management​ features.
  • Leverage technology to automate workflow for NBS users.

CDC’s development approach

CDC and the United States Digital Service conducted an assessment to determine the best approach for NBS modernization. Based on those findings, CDC will release frequent, easy-to-implement updates and new features to modernize NBS while still maintaining the current system. With these updates, CDC expects to replace the current NBS with a fully modernized system.

This iterative approach will:

  • Minimize disruption and risk to NBS users as CDC migrates to the new system.
  • Give NBS users immediate benefits rather than waiting for CDC to build and test an entirely new system before replacing the old system.
  • Provide an opportunity to add new features and services while transitioning to a fully modernized NBS.
  • Allow for fast and easy rollback of system changes if there are any issues with an upgrade or new feature.
  • Use human-centered design to ensure that user feedback is continuously solicited and incorporated as part of the system design and development process.

Prioritizing user needs, perspectives, and experiences

It is critical that NBS modernization plans include input from jurisdictions, CDC programs, and public health partners to meet the needs of everyone involved in case surveillance. That’s why CDC is keeping people at the center of the modernization process.

CDC will continue engaging jurisdictions, programs, and partners for feedback as we modernize NBS.

We are particularly committed to involving the diverse perspectives of all jurisdictions. We recognize that jurisdictions differ in the available resources, their populations, social vulnerability, and the community needs they need to consider. This includes jurisdictions that:

  • haven’t implemented NBS, but are considering it as part of their modernization plans, or
  • aren’t considering NBS but could benefit from the lessons learned from the modernization efforts and products produced as shared services that can potentially be used by other disease surveillance systems.

Learn more about NBS modernization in Case Surveillance News, in the eSHARE training webinar on NBS modernization, or by emailing the CDC NBS team at