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The Role of Information/Communication Technology and Monitoring/Surveillance Systems in Bioterrorism Preparedness

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Slide Presentation by John W. Loonsk, M.D.

On October 21, 2003, John Loonsk, M.D., made a presentation in the Web-assisted Audioconference entitled Coordinating the Functions, Uses and Activities of Systems and Organizations Involved in Public Health Surveillance

The is the text version of Dr. Loonsk's slide presentation. Select to access the PowerPoint® slides (995 KB).

Coordinating the Functions, Uses and Activities of Systems and Organizations Involved in Public Health Surveillance

John W. Loonsk, M.D.
Information Resources Management Office
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Atlanta, GA

Slide 1

Preparedness IT Functions

  • Detection and monitoring—support of disease and threat surveillance, national health status indicators.
  • Analysis—facilitating real-time evaluation of live data feeds, turning data into information for people at all levels of public health.
  • Information resources and knowledge management—reference information, distance learning, decision support.
  • Alerting and communications—transmission of emergency alerts, routine professional discussions, collaborative activities.
  • Response—recommendations, prophylaxis, vaccination, etc.

Slide 2

Beyond Early Detection

  • Case management—possible cases, possible environmental events, symptomology, travel history.
  • Investigation and confirmation—person lab results, environmental results.
  • Contact tracing—person-person, person-place, conveyance (plane, home, etc.).
  • Response coordination—quarantine management, stockpile dispensation, accelerated vaccination, prophylaxis.
  • Adverse Events and follow-up management— exposure registries, vaccination.

Slide 3

This slide contains a chart that represents the Pblic Health Partners Messaging Information Flows. This chart is made up of numerous boxes, each representing a different organization that can be involved in public health surveillance and response. Organizations represented on this chart are: Clinical site (clinic or hospital), regular laboratory, LRN Labs, local responders, State and local public health responders, State/local response team, CDC response team, CDC, FBI, Other Federal Agencies, Contractor Response Team, and Other Federal Response Team. Included in this chart are possible starting points for an event that would require a response, such as a person, an affected community, or a contaminated building. Between all of these boxes are many arrows that depict the possible flows of information/response between each entity.

Slide 4

Public Health Information Network

  • On the left hand side of this slide is the following list of information system types followed by a specific system name as an example:
    • Early Event Detection: BioSense.
    • Surveillance: NEDSS.
    • Secure Communications: Epi-X.
    • Analysis & Interpretation: BioIntelligence Center Technology.
    • Information Dissemination & KM: CDC Web site and Health alerting.
    • PH Response: Lab, outbreak management, vaccine administration, etc.
  • To the right of this list is a bracket that implies that all of these systems are components that make up the PHIN system. After the PHIN system is another bracket that points to the text "Federal Health Architecture & Consolidated Health Informatics."

Slide 5

Public Health Information Network—Architecture

This slide depicts the structure of the PHIN. It includes areas of Clinical Care, Health Departments, State and Federal Agencies, Public Health Participating Laboratories, Field Personnel, and First Responders/Law Enforcement.

Slide 6

Public Health Information Network—Process

  1. Capture the business requirements that support the public health mission.
  2. Identify relevant industry standards—technical and data.
  3. Develop specifications based on standards that are concrete enough to do work.
  4. Fund through the specifications.
  5. Develop transitional software that implements the specifications now.
  6. Encourage partners and private sector to implement the specifications.
  7. Support conformance testing.

Slide 7

Questions To Ask of Your Systems

  1. Have you documented the specific requirements of the processes you want them to serve?
  2. Do they meet the specific requirements other organizations in public health have of you?
  3. Were PHIN technical specifications written into your development and implementation contracts? Was there implementation assurance?
  4. Can you make use of existing functional or commercial components that are standards based?
  5. Are you prepared for compliance testing?

Slide 8

This slide contains a screen shot of the CDC's PHIN Web site, and the site's URL:

Current as of December 2003

Internet Citation:

Coordinating the Functions, Uses and Activities of Systems and Organizations Involved in Public Health Surveillance. Text Version of a Slide Presentation at a Web-assisted Audioconference. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.

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The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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