CDC system to share health data with states
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is ready to roll out the initial version of its National Electronic Disease Surveillance System, which will link the Atlanta-based agency with state public health departments.
'The system now is in the beginning phase of deployment to 20 states,' CIO James D. Seligman said this month at an e-government conference in Washington on homeland security.
NEDSS is an application developed by CDC to enable real-time data sharing over existing network connections. It includes standards and specifications with which states can create their own interoperable applications.
Several states are using NEDSS standards to develop or expand existing systems, Seligman said.
CDC received funding for NEDSS in 1999, and last year's anthrax attacks underscored the need for the system, said CDC director Julie L. Gerberding.
'People needed more information than we could possibly have anticipated,' Gerberding said. 'We are experiencing a major leap forward in our ability to deal with electronic lab reports.'
William Jackson is a senior writer of GCN and the author of the CyberEye blog.