Developing Phenotypes from Electronic Health Records for Chronic Disease Surveillance

Chronic diseases, including hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus (diabetes), obesity, and hyperlipidemia, are some of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Monitoring disease prevalence guides public health programs and policies that help prevent this burden. EHRs can supplement traditional sources of chronic disease surveillance, such as health surveys and administrative claims datasets, by offering near real-time data, large sample sizes, and a rich source of clinical data.

June 18, 2019

Strategies for Clinical Decision Support for Electronic Case Reporting

As the knowledge required to support case reporting evolves from unstructured to more structured and standardized formats, it becomes suitable for electronic clinical decision support (CDS). CDS for case reporting confronts two challenges: a) While EHRs are moving toward local CDS capabilities, it will take several years for EHR systems to consistently support this capability; and b) public health-related CDS knowledge, such as Zika infection detection and reporting rules, may differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

June 18, 2019

Mental health and opioid addiction comorbidities among chronic pain patients

The National Institute for Drug Abuse Report, Common Comorbidities with Substance Use Disorders, states there are many individuals who develop substance use disorders (SUD) are also diagnosed with mental disorders, and vice versa.(1) Prescription opioids are amongst the most commonly used drugs that lead to illicit drug use.(2)Much of the data about the starting point of the prescription opioid addiction is in the patient health history and is recorded within the provider electronic health record and administrative systems.Description: There are a variety of addiction and misuse risk screen

June 18, 2019

Temporal Patterns in Chlamydia Repeat Testing and Positivity Rates in Massachusetts

Sexually transmitted disease treatment guidelines have incrementally added repeat testing recommendations for Chlamydia trachomatis infections over time, including test-of-cure 3 to 4 weeks following completion of treatment for pregnant women and test-of-reinfection for all patients approximately 3 months after infection. However, few studies have investigated adherence to these recommendations and whether the evolution of guidelines have led to changes in repeat testing patterns over time.


January 21, 2018

Electronic case reporting of STIs: Are non-existent codes the reason for missing information?

Under the CDC STD Surveillance Network (SSuN) Part B grant, WA DOH is testing eICR of sexually transmitted infections (STI) with a clinical partner. Existing standard vocabulary codes were identified to represent previously-identified information gaps, or the need for new codes or concepts was identified.


January 21, 2018

Surveillance of Stillbirth and Syphilis Screening Using Electronic Health Records

Reports of infants born with congenital syphilis have increased in the United States every year since 2012. Prevention depends on high performing surveillance systems and compliance with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to perform syphilis testing early in pregnancy, in the third trimester and at delivery if a woman is at high risk, and following a stillbirth delivery. These guidelines exist, because untreated syphilis is associated with adverse fetal outcomes including central nervous system infection and death.

January 21, 2018

Using Electronic Health Records for Public Health Hypertension Surveillance

Hypertension (HTN) is a highly prevalent chronic condition and strongly associated with morbidity and mortality. HTN is amenable to prevention and control through public and population health programs and policies. Therefore, public and population health programs require accurate, stable estimates of disease prevalence, and estimating HTN prevalence at the community-level is acutely important for timely detection, intervention, and effective evaluation. Current surveillance methods for HTN rely upon community-based surveys, such as the BRFSS.

January 25, 2018

Using Electronic Health Data for Community Health

A report jointly released by the de Beaumont Foundation and Johns Hopkins University, Using Electronic Health Data for Community Health: Example Cases and Legal Analysis provides public health departments with a framework that will allow them to request data from hospitals and health systems in order to move the needle on critical public health challenges.

January 02, 2018

Establishing a National Syndromic Surveillance System among Asylum Seekers

Most European countries are facing a continuous increased influx of asylum seekers. Poor living conditions in crowded shelters and refugee camps increase the risk for - outbreaks of - infectious diseases in this vulnerable population. In line with ECDC recommendations, we aim to improve information on infectious diseases among asylum seekers by establishing a new syndromic surveillance system in the Netherlands.

July 27, 2017

Real-time surveillance for chronic conditions in Massachusetts using EHR data

Public health agencies and researchers have traditionally relied on the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and similar tools for surveillance of non-reportable conditions. These tools are valuable but the data are delayed by more than a year, limited in scope, and based only on participant self-report. These characteristics limit the utility of traditional surveillance systems for program monitoring and impact assessments.

August 08, 2017


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