The ongoing opioid epidemic in the United States has affected some of the country’s most vulnerable populations, including pregnant women and infants; however, the extent of this negative impact is not widely or well understood. To better equip public health with the data it needs to plan interventions for maternal and child health related to opioid use disorder, PHII developed MAT-LINK in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This surveillance network of clinical sites feeds into a data collection and sharing network, ultimately providing a critical body of data and knowledge that will be leveraged to inform future interventions that will protect the health of pregnant women and infants with prenatal opioid exposure. Not unique to opioid disorder alone, the principles underpinning this innovative network can be repurposed for surveillance on different diseases, treatments and outcomes into the future.
CHAMPS (Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance Network) is an innovative multi-partner global health surveillance network aimed at preventing childhood mortality in developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia. In response to the high rate of mortality in young children under the age of five in low- and middle-income countries, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched CHAMPS to acquire data about how, where and why children are dying. PHII serves as the informatics hub for this initiative, engineering data acquisition methods and providing the data stewardship crucial to the success of the CHAMPS initiative. Prior to CHAMPS, researchers often had to wait up to two years to access this type of data, on the rare occasion it was collected at all; now, daily dashboards provide instant downloads and visualizations to guide and inform ongoing child mortality prevention initiatives.
Inherited metabolic disorders describe a class of rare congenital diseases which prevent the body from properly digesting nutrition. Because a lapse in care can result in adverse health outcomes—including disability and death—lifelong follow-up in care without interruptions is essential. PHII partnered with Emory University’s Medical Nutrition Therapy for Prevention program to build an automated informatics system to create a unique digital health footprint for patients with inherited metabolic disorders in the state of Georgia. This digital health footprint automates key processes around patient follow-up, as well as outcome and needs tracking, to ensure no one in this community of patients falls through the cracks and to reduce the risk of an interruption in crucial ongoing care. This innovative digital health footprint will also be the source of never-before-available critical data on this patient population, which can be used to inform policies and otherwise enable advocacy for those living with inherited metabolic disorders.
When Digital Bridge launched in 2016, it was a first-of-its-kind initiative to bring public health, healthcare and health IT together to collaborate on ways to effectively share information and improve public health surveillance. During PHII’s time as the secretariat from 2016-2019, Digital Bridge developed a multi-jurisdictional approach to electronic case reporting (eCR) that has now been positioned for national adoption under guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE). The initiative continues to incubate new use cases focused on data exchange between public health and healthcare.