Modernization at the Health Department
Receiving, managing, using and sending digital data is critical to the public health mission and operation. However, this requires comprehensive and innovative data systems and a high level of informatics knowledge that many health departments are still trying to develop. To guide DMI work, the CDC published a roadmap that defines three data modernization domains and recommends concrete activities within each. This framework presents a vision of what the data modernization strategy was created to do, guides decisions for allocating resources, creates a structure to track progress and success along the way and provides context for this toolkit.
Health departments can think about data modernization activities within three domains:
- Coordinate people and systems
- Accelerate data for action
- Support strategic innovation
Modernization is not a one-time investment; it involves activities across multiple domains to achieve short, intermediate and long-term outcomes. By aligning activities and resources toward specific and measurable outcomes, health departments can make a lasting impact on their data, information systems and workforce.
Data modernization funds were distributed to local and state health departments beginning in fiscal year 2020 through the ELC program. This toolkit was developed primarily for health departments receiving data modernization funds. For other agencies not receiving DMI funds, this toolkit can inform related efforts to increase institutional knowledge and workforce capacity to harness the power of public health data.