Solving Our Public Health Data Problem by William A. Haseltine

0

Accurate and easily accessible health data is needed to understand real-time clinical information, prevent medical errors, and make public health decisions before, during, and after times of crisis. But as COVID-19 and monkeypox have shown, the United States and others are nowhere near that standard.

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, CT – With COVID-19 still a pervasive threat and monkeypox cases increasing alongside existing chronic health epidemics, building strong and responsive public health systems has never been more important. But it will require developing effective data management, continuing sustained investment and training, and building trust through clear communication and community engagement. Here I want to focus on the data problem.

Standardized and comprehensive health data is at the heart of any public health system, whether monitoring infectious diseases or understanding why certain diseases affect certain populations more than others. Accurate and easily accessible health data is needed to understand real-time clinical information, prevent medical errors, and make decisions about public health measures before, during, and after times of crisis.

Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly been hampered by the slow and inconsistent reporting of critical public health data. In the absence of universal standards, many public health systems and practitioners rely on outdated forms of communication such as paper and fax, which do not allow for rapid sharing. More than two years into the pandemic, we still cannot easily rely on the latest data to answer basic questions, such as the death rate of COVID-19 by patient variables.

To continue reading, register now.

As a registered user, you can enjoy more PS content every month – free.

Register

Where

Subscribe now for unlimited access to everything PS has to offer.

Share.

Comments are closed.