CDC Front Door

Streamlining how public health data comes into CDC

open door

Right now, multiple pathways and processes are used to bring data into CDC. This increases the amount of time and effort it takes our partners to submit their data. The result is slower data that puts limits on public health decision-making.

As part of the vision for the North Star Architecture, we are creating a single-entry point for data to come into the agency, called the “CDC Front Door.” While the specifics of the CDC Front Door are still in development, this page aims to provide you with a basic overview of what it means and where we are now. 

Quick Facts
  • Today, reporting different public health conditions to CDC can be a difficult and time-consuming process. It is often done manually, and sometimes the same information must be reported in multiple places or ways.
  • CDC Front Door is a solution that provides a single point of entry for data being sent to CDC.
  • It takes in many kinds of data in many different formats using secure, modern technology called an application programming interface (API).
  • The CDC Front Door is a key component of CDC’s North Star Architecture, our blueprint for a sustainable, response-ready public health ecosystem.
What is the CDC Front Door?

The CDC Front Door is a single point of entry that the public health community can use to send data, as-is, to CDC. This digital tool can be used by CDC and public health partners at state, tribal, local, and territorial (STLT) levels. In the future, this tool will allow for data exchange in both directions.

The CDC Front Door is one element of the North Star Architecture, which is our blueprint for a sustainable, response-ready public health ecosystem. This new blueprint is guiding CDC in the development of shared datasets and readily available tools to enable better, faster, more actionable insights at all levels of public health.

Problems the CDC Front Door will help solve

Today, reporting different public health conditions to CDC can be a difficult and time-consuming process.

  • There are many ways for data to enter CDC and often the processes and technical requirements vary from one entryway to another.
  • When data submitters send data to CDC, sometimes it is not clear if the transfer was successful or not.
  • Once data is received by programs, additional steps are needed to store data and prepare the data for analysis. Many CDC programs handle these steps differently, and some processes are done manually.

The CDC Front Door is designed to:

  • Standardize and streamline how data is submitted to CDC
  • Accept multiple data formats (e.g., HL7® v2, FHIR®, CSV), data types and sources (e.g., lab, case, hospital) for any amount of data.
  • Keep data secure by using modern APIs that make sure data are transferred safely and accessed only by approved users.
  • Track data status by providing automatic updates on data transfer progress to data submitters and CDC programs. Senders and receivers will know if there are problems with data submission in near real time.
  • Make data available faster to approved CDC programs for storage and analysis within minutes after it is submitted.
How the CDC Front Door can help public health

Overall, the CDC Front Door makes data reporting easier and faster by reducing the number of locations where data is submitted to CDC and providing more flexibility on the ways the data can be formatted. It also uses technology that supports a near real-time data feedback loop.

Benefits for specific groups
  • Reduced reporting burden and a streamlined experience, resulting in more time to focus on other public health activities
  • Quicker confirmation that data was sent successfully to CDC
  • Ability to send data as-is, in multiple formats, to one place
  • Fewer data pipelines to manage
Data providers (e.g., hospitals, healthcare providers, labs)
  • Simplified data sharing and more automated methods to comply with regulations
CDC programs
  • Ability to easily accept data in multiple data formats
  • Quicker access to data for analysis, usually within minutes after submission
  • Fewer methods for receiving data, leading to a more resilient and cost-effective IT infrastructure
What's next for the CDC Front Door?

A future enhancement to the CDC Front Door is to make it bi-directional. This means that not only can data be submitted to CDC, but users could receive data from CDC through the same Front Door.

When can I start using the CDC Front Door?

The CDC Front Door is not ready for use right now. A preliminary version of the CDC Front Door is being pilot tested using a product called Enterprise Data Exchange (DEX).

Lessons learned from the pilot tests will be used to improve the CDC Front Door before we make it available for broader use. Updates and further information will be shared on this website as they become available.

Stay involved

CDC provides multiple ways to stay up to date on the CDC Front Door and other data modernization activities.

  • Check the data modernization website regularly for updates and information about webinars or other opportunities to learn more and contribute to CDC’s data modernization efforts.
  • Join our user panel: Email to sign up to be a part of our user panel. Members of the user panel may be invited to participate in focus groups, usability testing, informational interviews, or other forums to provide feedback on ideas and products.