NBS Supports the Monkeypox Response
The National Electronic Disease Surveillance System Base System (NBS) is supporting our nation’s response to the 2022 U.S. monkeypox outbreak. NBS is a CDC-developed integrated information system that helps local, state, and territorial public health departments manage reportable disease data and send notifiable disease data to CDC. NBS makes it easier for public health agencies to implement national consensus data standards used across public health and healthcare.
Over the last two decades, NBS has evolved into a modern disease surveillance, case management, and case notification system. Currently, 27 health departments (21 states; Washington, DC; Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; Guam; Puerto Rico; Republic of the Marshall Islands; and U.S. Virgin Islands) use NBS to manage public health investigations and transfer general communicable disease surveillance data to CDC.
The NBS support team is enhancing the system to assist health departments in their monkeypox response. Here are some of the ways in which NBS is helping health departments capture and share epidemiologic data on monkeypox with CDC.
- Implementing the data elements provided in the latest data dictionary for the monkeypox short case report form in a standard way in the NBS application to help state and territorial jurisdictions conduct their monkeypox case investigations.
- Mapping standard lab and diagnosis codes to public health condition codes in NBS to enable jurisdictions to process real-time information from electronic lab and case reports in a highly automated way. This saves time so public health investigators can focus on case and contact follow-up.
- Building dynamic data marts that public health jurisdictions can use to access near-real-time monkeypox case, contact tracing, and lab data for analysis and reporting.
- Providing tools and guidance to the NBS community on ways to send monkeypox case information to the Data Collation and Integration for Public Health Event Response platform, also known as DCIPHER, and the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System. Using these tools, NBS jurisdictions can immediately engage with CDC to send case data using a standard messaging format and upload data to CDC without having to spend time and resources to create a customized extract. The result is more data reaching CDC more quickly to support the response while eliminating duplicate data entry into multiple systems at the jurisdiction level.
In support of the CDC Data Modernization Initiative, NBS will continue to look for ways to modernize our tools, technology, and strategy and to improve the quality and timeliness of the data public health agencies receive and provide. Modernization of public health data and IT systems is central to the nation’s efforts to respond to the monkeypox outbreak—and to strengthen preparedness for future public health threats.