Fighting disease outbreaks with two-way health information exchange

September 21, 2009
Bi-directional flow of evidence-based medical information between clinical sources and public health organizations is made possible by pioneering new public health informatics tools developed by the Regenstrief Institute. Credit: Regenstrief Institute.

Building upon four decades of research and real world operation of electronic medical records and health information exchange, Regenstrief Institute researchers have developed, tested and are now operating innovative technologies to allow for the bi-directional flow of evidence-based medical information between clinical sources and public health organizations.

A demonstration of the pioneering new tools developed by the Regenstrief Institute that make two-way exchange between healthcare providers and public health agencies possible takes place on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on September 24, 2009, from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm in the Russell Senate Office Building.

Rapid, secure two-way exchange of health information between medical care providers and public health officials is critical to dealing with , bioterrorism incidents, illness from food borne contaminants, and other threats. Doctors, medical laboratories, and hospitals need efficient ways to inform public health agencies about emerging risks, and public health officials need effective approaches to monitoring, detecting, and informing medical providers about outbreaks.

Regenstrief's ground-breaking Notifiable Condition Detector (NCD) uses advanced computing techniques to examine electronically reported laboratory results for the detection of notifiable conditions such as novel H1N1 influenza, sexually transmitted diseases, lead poisoning, or salmonella. The NCD, now operational in Indiana, automatically detects positive cases of indicated conditions and forwards alerts to local and state health departments for review and possible follow up. These alerts assist public health agencies to perform population health monitoring more efficiently and effectively.

To enable instant delivery of alerts from public health agencies to healthcare providers, Regenstrief researchers and technology professionals have created, with funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a web application that interfaces with the Regenstrief DOCS4DOCS® service, operated by the Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE), one of the nation's most respected health information exchange organizations.

DOCS4DOCS is a clinical messaging service that delivers more than five million messages with information, such as laboratory or other test results, critical to patient care to health care providers each day throughout much of Indiana. The public health department of the largest county by population in Indiana (Marion County) is now able to create a message and securely send that message via DOCS4DOCS to clinicians when and where they are likely to utilize the information to improve patient care rather than by much less efficient fax or mail with their delays and need to keep up with address changes.

"Our public health broadcast messaging initiative leverages Regenstrief's core standards-based health information exchange infrastructure in novel ways to improve the health of our community. By building on existing proven technology already used for clinical health care, we minimize development costs and rapidly implement technology that delivers real-world value to public health," said Shaun Grannis, M.D., Regenstrief Institute investigator and Indiana University School of Medicine assistant professor of family medicine. Dr. Grannis is the director of the new Indiana Center of Excellence in Public Health Informatics, supported by the CDC.

Source: Indiana University (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.