Data Modernization Initiative (DMI)

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Public Health Information Systems Are Not Just About Technology

Public health information systems have always been a key component of the healthcare ecosystem. Links between clinical care and public health have only been increasing, propelled by the pandemic. As defined by the Public Health Informatics Institute (PHII) in its 2021 Immunization Information System (IIS) Core Competency Model, information systems management is the “application and administration of technologies to securely and effectively meet IIS program and user needs”. The pandemic highlighted the need for public health information systems to collect, track, and monitor vaccine administration for ages newborn through adulthood, and mandated data to be reported or accessible to a broad range of recipients at the local, state and federal level.

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The Sequoia Project Releases a Useful Workgroup Report on Information and Pandemic Response

In February 2022 the Sequoia Project released its Emergency Preparedness Information Workgroup’s Pandemic Response Insights and Recommendations. This workgroup was convened in the fall of 2020 at the height of the pandemic with a diverse set of stakeholders from all areas of the healthcare system. The resulting short report is worth a read as it offers concise analysis and recommendations. The first task the workgroup undertook was to conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis focused on pandemic response. There was a strong public health focus that resulted from this activity: “During a declared emergency, and during non-emergency times as well, public health should be viewed as a collaborator and partner with equal access to shared data” (p. 6).