Environmental Health Data Modernization
CDC’s Data Modernization Initiative (DMI) is at the heart of a national effort to create modern, integrated, and real-time public health data and surveillance that can protect us from any health threat.
Data Modernization Efforts
CDC’s Environmental Public Health Tracking Program and the Water, Food, and Environmental Health Services Branch (WFEHSB) are working together to enhance and expand environmental health data modernization efforts across the country.
In fiscal year 2021, these programs provided $2.25 million in funding for projects from 11 Tracking Program jurisdictions to modernize the collection, integration, dissemination, and application of timely, local environmental health data. The goals of these projects are to
- develop and maintain effective partnerships,
- make data sharing easier, and
- develop sustainable and modernized IT infrastructure and processes related to Environmental Health Services (EHS) data.
California is updating their Traffic Tool with data obtained data from the California Department of Transportation for 2019 and 2020. This traffic monitoring dataset will be accessible to the public, researchers, and environmental health services for traffic-related decision making.
Connecticut analyzed data from food inspections and inspector training and found that it was difficult for inspectors to keep certifications current. To help address this issue, they developed a system to automate certifications. This will enable inspectors to keep their food inspection certifications up-to-date easier and quicker than before.
Florida is helping provide new mapping functionality to the state Bureau of Environmental Health’s (BEH) webpage for reports and data on environmental health services inspections. With the new functionality, BEH will be able to display data for specific addresses, allowing users to easily view environmental health facilities data by location.
Kentucky assessed data priorities among regional epidemiologists and the entire Kentucky Department of Health to identify data to add to the state tracking program’s data portal, making it more accessible to public health professionals and the public. Most recently, they integrated state Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring Systems data—a dataset that was difficult to access. Now, anyone can easily view maternal child health statistics for 2017-2019.
Maryland identified two potential solutions to incorporate separate local health department data into one integrated data management system at the state level. Once complete, the integrated system will allow public and private partners to access to statewide environmental health data in one place.
Michigan is collaborating with the Maryland Tracking Program to establish a data use agreement to share private drinking water data between the jurisdictions. This partnership will create opportunities for additional data sharing and integration between these two states.
New Mexico is collaborating with the Maryland Tracking Program to understand how to integrate septic system data into their data systems. This partnership will help both states develop a new set of data standards for their septic data and provide more opportunities for data sharing across their jurisdictions.
New York City is developing a content management system to make narrative content, such as data stories and annual reports, more accessible to non-technical users and users from diverse backgrounds. Increasing accessibility to these data will create a more well-informed public and increase the level of accountability between the city health department and its constituents.
Oregon is building an IT framework to update their Domestic Well Safety Information System. This system will connect water samples to their testing voucher laboratory invoice. The new streamlined process will allow the public to acquire vouchers for well water testing sooner than they have before.
Rhode Island is improving their geographic information system (GIS) capacity. As a first step, they presented the current state of their statewide GIS systems to key partners to get a better understanding of what functions these groups would like to gain as a part of this project.
Washington aligned their work with new legislation requiring the testing of drinking water for lead at all Washington state K–12 public schools. These test results will be used by schools to support future grant applications to address lead contamination in their water systems. They also will provide a stronger public health infrastructure by using data to inform new policies.
CDC’s Data Modernization Initiative (DMI) brings together state, tribal, local, and territorial public health jurisdictions along with private and public sector partners to create modern, interoperable, and real-time public health data and surveillance systems that will protect the American public.
Environmental Health Data Modernization
- Rodriguez L, Wilson H. Data modernization: Making environmental health services data more accessible. [commentary] J Environ Health. 2022;84(8):34–6.
CDC Data Modernization