The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created the Environmental Public Health Tracking program in 2002 to collect environmental and public health data from multiple information systems in one place so that impacts could be better analyzed and tracked over time. They needed new informatics tools to manage, integrate and standardize these data sources and make the data usable for researchers and public health leaders.
The CDC came to Battelle in 2008 for help in managing, implementing and improving the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network, an online portal for environmental and public health data reporting, collection and dissemination. The network currently integrates more than 40 climate change measures and 40 air quality measures. The CDC and other public health agencies rely on Tracking Network data to identify environmental stressors for regions and communities, monitor trends in environmental public health concerns over time, and develop outreach materials for researchers and the general public.
Battelle is responsible for information technology, comprehensive system development, data management and analytical services support for the Tracking Network. We’ve helped with the development of the architecture of the system, including the development of a web-based data submission portal, providing automated data cleaning and evaluation tools and developing data management tools that create the measurements for display.
Battelle has conformed to all CDC security and regulatory standards for each of the various information and data management systems and processes. Secure systems have been architected to integrate with CDC platforms. For each application release, Battelle works closely with the Information Technology Services Office (ITSO) to ensure that each system to be deployed passes stringent security audits.
For each system, Battelle collaborates with CDC and other stakeholders to define requirements and agree on appropriate scope and design. Each system is designed with security, data volume, user experience, and performance concerns at the forefront. Battelle is currently working with CDC on the creation of a public Data Access Application Programming Interface (API) that allows users (anonymous and enrolled) access to Public Portal data via RESTful web services.