Why We’re Modernizing

CDC is redesigning the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System Base System (NBS) to meet current and future needs and strengthen state, local, territorial, and tribal (STLT) surveillance infrastructure.

CDC’s vision: Enable STLT users to easily and reliably receive case and lab data, investigate cases and outbreaks, analyze and share data, and inform public health action by providing an integrated disease surveillance system that is response-ready, leverages North Star Architecture, and follows best practices in public health.

CDC plans to turn NBS into a flagship, state-of-the-art integrated disease surveillance system capable of scaling and evolving to meet jurisdictions’ ongoing surveillance needs and performance requirements.

Benefits for all public health

This effort is not about modernizing one system. A redesigned NBS has the potential to modernize the entire public health data infrastructure.

Overarching goals for NBS modernization are the following:

  • Provide technology building blocks for use by other disease surveillance systems.
  • Lead to new technical standards and best practices for the entire case surveillance ecosystem, including non-NBS jurisdictions.
  • Serve as a model to improve other systems.
  • Help jurisdictions meet their surveillance needs.

Direct benefits to current NBS jurisdictions include:

  • Incremental improvements to existing system features as components are redesigned and migrated to the modernized architecture and technology. Improvements include automated workflows, user-friendly and customizable user interfaces, improved system stability and performance, and streamlined version upgrade process.
  • New functionalities to address existing system gaps such as outbreak management, geocoding, and contract tracing.

Jurisdictions that aren’t currently using NBS may want to transition if they are interested in:

  • An off-the-shelf solution that doesn’t require building a new system from scratch
  • CDC support resources to help troubleshoot the system
  • Peer-to-peer learning available through the NBS community.

As we improve NBS and find solutions to existing problems, CDC will provide transparency into the process through regular updates and will share lessons learned with all jurisdictions.

A top priority for NBS data modernization

Modernizing NBS is a top priority of CDC’s Data Modernization Initiative goals. CDC’s North Star Architecture framework, which is a core component of CDC’s approach for making public health data work better, is also guiding this effort.

CDC leadership is committing the resources needed to modernize NBS. This investment is a strategic opportunity to strengthen the surveillance infrastructure throughout public health.

Our commitment includes:

  • Supporting this modernization effort with sustained financial investment.
  • Leveraging the latest technology and new development approaches to drive innovation.
  • Collaborating with jurisdictions and other partners to address challenges and risks during this complex undertaking.

Need more information?

Learn more about NBS modernization in Case Surveillance News and the eSHARE training webinar on NBS modernization here.