Unlocking the Power of Data for Improving Community Health
February 17, 2021
Data are essential for public health surveillance, epidemiological investigation, research, program development, implementation and evaluation. A complex legal landscape, and lack of knowledge and training in law, result in actual or perceived barriers to data collection, use and sharing. As a result, opportunities are missed to use and share electronic data to improve the health of communities, promote wellness, address social determinants of health and increase health equity.
The Network worked with public health departments and organizations on their specific data use cases in order to help them fully use data to advance the health of their communities. Some of the projects included improving the quality of data in immunization information systems; creating a data sharing template that allows police to share information on drug-related crime with community-based organizations; and assisting public health agencies in navigating data privacy laws regarding the collection and use of data related to child and adolescent mental health in order to improve community health.