Fighting disease outbreaks with two-way health information exchange

Sep 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)

Explore further: Experts call for higher exam pass marks to close performance gap between international and UK medical graduates

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A look to the future

Sep 23, 2008

Investigators from the Regenstrief Institute have led a demonstration of how health information exchange technologies developed and tested regionally can be used to securely share patient information across the nation during ...

Taking action against hospital acquired infection

Jul 01, 2008

Patients enter hospitals every day for a variety of reasons but usually without the thought of developing a new health problem. Yet every year thousands of hospitalized Americans acquire infections during hospital stays, ...

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Treating depression in Parkinson's patients

A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has found interesting new information in a study on depression and neuropsychological function in Parkinson's ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...