CDC awards disease surveillance IT grants

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded $3.7 million in grants designed to improve health information sharing to detect and respond to emerging public health threats, with the goal of ultimately adopting a nationwide health care surveillance system.

The grants will fund studies at three new Centers of Excellence in Public Health Informatics located at the New York City Department of Health and Hygiene; the University of Utah, Salt Lake City; and Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md. The CDC is an agency of the Health and Human Services Department.

Researchers will investigate new technologies to improve the timeliness and accuracy of electronic disease surveillance systems and accelerate the development of a national disease surveillance network. They also will implement and evaluate a model electronic health record system that incorporates public health priorities and epidemiological data.

'We hope we'll be able to detect emerging public health threats earlier and more efficiently,' said Steve Solomon, director of the Coordinating Center for Health Information and Service at CDC, in a statement yesterday.

The Centers of Excellence will design new applications and methods to assist and enhance CDC's BioSense program, which provides real-time bio-surveillance for potential health threats through immediate access to data from hospitals and health care systems in major metropolitan cities across the nation.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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