The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling on staff to "work more collaboratively" when it comes to the collection and analysis of public health data, Politico reports.
Dan Jernigan, deputy director for Public Health Science and Surveillance, sent an email to staff earlier this month advising them to review a letter from CDC Director Rochelle Walensky that seeks "to drive the success of the Data Modernization Initiative," and improve the agency's health surveillance infrastructure.
"Among the things Dr. Walensky shared in her letter, are five big commitments that will push us to work more collaboratively by moving from a mindset of 'my data' to 'our data,' " Jernigan wrote.
Prior to sending the email, Jernigan told Politico that the improvements include the unification of the state and federal public health systems, making sure that the data is current and available in real-time, and assisting states in hiring staff members to collect and analyze data.
He also said that eventually a cloud-based network for public health data could exist to help local health workers more quickly analyze data to figure out health trends in their communities.
"You can now say, 'I see that you've got that person who was positive and died, and they actually live in an area with a social vulnerability index that is high, and they happen to be in an area that is serviced by a federally qualified health center and we have some public health money,'" Jernigan wrote. "You can now have that data, and have the data work for you, rather than what's been happening, which is people having to work to get the data. People have been spending 80 percent of their time just collating information, taking a fax and putting it into one of their systems."
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