SDP Vocabulary Service

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Standardized and harmonized data collection instruments improve quality and save time

The Surveillance Data Platform provides a Vocabulary Service (SDP-V) to speed up disease surveillance by helping CDC more rapidly respond to data collection needs. Often data collection is done by asking a standard set of questions, collecting the responses, and using the results to inform public health decision support while enhancing public health interventions. The Vocabulary Service accelerates the data collection process by providing reusable content from all participating CIOs.

The SDP Vocabulary Service provides a repository of questions, response sets, and groupings of questions (called sections), and provides visibility into which programs and surveillance systems are using this content. Users can search for existing content that meets their own data collection needs. This enhances consistency by reducing the number of different ways that CDC asks for similar information, lowers reporting burden on partners, and allows users to spend more time in data analysis. When needed, users are also able to author their own content, either from scratch, or using existing content as a starting point.

  • Search and Filter to Find Existing Content Easily: Facilitates discovery and reuse of existing vocabulary content.
  • Leverage Expertise Across Programs and Systems: Allows users to see which programs and systems are using which content, providing insight into the context behind content’s use, and allowing users to leverage other programs’ experience and work.
  • Author New Content: When no existing content meets an author’s data collection needs, the Surveillance Data Platform Vocabulary Service provides an interface for authors to create new content from scratch, or extend existing content. Extending means creating a copy of existing content to be used as a starting point for an author’s own needs.
  • Draft Content Privately or in Collaborative Authoring Groups, then Submit for Publishing when Ready: Authors decide when their new content is ready to be submitted for Publisher review and public visibility. SDP-V keeps track of changes to draft content.
  • Export Groupings of Questions in Sections and SDP-V Surveys: Leverage Vocabulary service content and authoring capabilities to create a data collection specification for use in other data collection tools like Epi Info, REDCap, or other tools.
  • Integrate Vocabulary with other tools through API: Leverage Vocabulary service content and authoring capabilities to create a data collection specification for integration with other tools through API.
  • Import existing content: Reduce time it takes to get existing content from surveys, data dictionaries, and other sources into SDP-V for use and reuse using SDP-V import templates.
  • Search for Codes Across Several Code Systems: Enables authors to look up coded values from code systems such as LOINC and SNOMED for use in their response sets.
  • Maintain Version History: See the evolution of Vocabulary content from one published version to the next.
  • Identify Harmonization Opportunities Using the Curation Wizard: Quickly see how authors from other programs have asked similar questions or defined response sets. Reuse can improve data quality and reduce burden.

Surveillance Data Platform Vocabulary Service Fact Sheet pdf icon[PDF – 95 KB]

CDC’s Surveillance Data Platform’s Vocabulary Service enables public health professionals to generate data collection instruments from a repository of questions and response sets.The vocabulary Service decreases the time it takes public health to create data collection tools, while improving the quality and standardization of the data being collected.

Designed to reduce the burden of data collection on states, CDC’s Surveillance Data Platform Program improves the overall efficiency of gathering, reporting, and using public health data. Standardizing data collection—using shared data collection instruments—is one way to create efficiency in public health surveillance. Another is through harmonization—reusing exising questions in future data collection.

How It Works:

Creating or revising data collection tools can be labor intensive. The Vocabulary Service provides a repository of questions and response sets that allow public health professionals to more rapidly discover, create, and deploy data collection instruments. If a question is not already included in the Vocabulary Service, users can add them to the questions and response sets found there. The Vocabulary Service saves public health professionals’ time as it reduces the ways CDC asks for similar information on data collection tools and lowers partners’ reporting burden.

Standardizing Data Collection Improves Quality and Saves Time

  • DiscoverPrograms and CDC partners can see how others are using questions and response sets
  • CreateData collection instruments are generated using shared vocabulary
  • DeployStandardized and harmonized data collection instruments improve quality and save time

To learn more e-mail surveillanceplatform@cdc.gov.

Public Health Surveillance and Data Preparing for the future

For example, due to a multi-state outbreak, new information is needed to better understand and prevent the spread of Salmonellosis infection in people. Epidemiologists gather this information using a data collection tool.  Disease detectives accelerate the creation of their data collection tool by using the Surveillance Data Platform Vocabulary service which allows them to reuse existing questions and possible answers.

The result = Technology Trims Tasks

Reuse. Reduced variability in data facilitates apples to apples comparisons

Transparency. Disease detectives ask consistent questions and report consistent answers, allowing multiple datasets to be compared more easily

Speed. Data collection instrument or survey is created quickly by reusing existing questions and response sets

Visit SDP Vocabulary Service
User Guide
User Guide

This document serves as a reference for users of the Surveillance Data Platform (SDP) Vocabulary Service (SDP-V) on how to use the application. It also provides background and context on the intent of SDP-V, the types of content it contains, the various user roles, and the actions users are able to take depending on their role.

Download Users Guide pdf icon[PDF – 8 MB]

Page last reviewed: November 22, 2019