There is a chasm between what is and what could be.
Over the past four decades, the public health enterprise has developed a wide variety of computer-based information systems to improve the ways data are collected, shared, and analyzed. The proliferation of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and other online data sets makes information more accessible and useful than ever before. There are, however, challenges in unleashing the full power of these resources.
The current state of health information systems remains fragmented and insufficient to tackle the complexity and volume of the data that is already flowing. As with much computer-based technology in the past, these data systems and software were originally created on an as-needed basis, usually customized precisely to the needs of a particular program and not envisioned with an external compatibility in mind.
As the world becomes smaller with public health issues transcending geographies, working together and integrating systems and data will be crucial in preventing, detecting, and responding to issues that endanger the public’s health.
In an effort to tackle this issue head-on, ASTHO and the PHCP Steering Committee are now engaged in the creation of a CDC initiative: the Public Health Community Platform (PHCP, or Platform) Project. The goal of this Platform is to provide a forum for common data exchange, analysis, and visualization through the development of an innovative and interoperable system.
This website serves two purposes: