Modernizing Public Health through Shared Services

Tuesday, June 6, 2017: 10:40 AM
400B, Boise Centre
Suzette Stoutenburg , The MITRE Corporation, Atlanta, GA
Brian Lee , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Teresa Kinley , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Suzi Connor , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Tonya Martin , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
William Duck , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA

BACKGROUND: Emerging challenges in public health surveillance include the proliferation of overlapping capabilities and independent systems that impede innovation and meaningful connections across programs. Recent calls from public health partners, Congress, and from within The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) aim to reduce reporting burden on partners and improve efficiency within the agency. In response, CDC’s Surveillance Strategy answers these calls. As an outgrowth of the strategy and taking advantage of partnerships with the CDC’s Federally Funded Research and Development Center, the Surveillance Data Platform initiative (SDP) will offer shared software services on a cloud-based platform. SDP is laying the foundation for a future in which CDC programs could assemble services to create new capabilities in near real time, allowing a more agile response to public health needs.

METHODS: CDC’s Surveillance Leadership Board chartered cross-agency workgroups to provide recommendations for an integrated and interoperable surveillance data platform of shared services. The workgroups covered design principles, scope, and service priorities. From there, the SDP program team analyzed top challenges faced by CDC programs, gaps in capability, and existing services that could be shared across CDC and its partners. Based on factors such as cost, value to surveillance, and readiness of programs to use services, two services were selected for initial deployment: vocabulary and content-based routing. 

RESULTS: The vocabulary services are being designed in close collaboration with users to enable use of harmonized standards for new data collection, thus simplifying reporting for partners. Content-based routing services are focused on providing foundational capability for streamlined data flow into CDC, further reducing the reporting burden on public health partners. SDP development is iterative and user-centered. Working capability is released every 2 weeks with close interaction from users. Development sprints began in August 2016 with biweekly releases planned through production functionality at the end of Phase 1 in August 2017.  

CONCLUSIONS: CDC is modernizing its use of informatics through shared services designed to support multiple public health surveillance systems. By engaging with public health users throughout the design and development of the initial services, CDC aims to demonstrate the value and impact of shared services within public health. While SDP is in early stages, the initiative is committed to communication and collaboration throughout development and early implementation.