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The CDC Field Epidemiology Manual$
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Sonja A. Rasmussen and Richard A. Goodman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190933692

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190933692.001.0001

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Using Technologies for Data Collection and Management

Using Technologies for Data Collection and Management

Chapter:
(p.71) 5 Using Technologies for Data Collection and Management
Source:
The CDC Field Epidemiology Manual
Author(s):

Janet J. Hamilton

Richard S. Hopkins

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190933692.003.0005

Quality data collected and summarized at the right time lead to informed decisions, which lead to improved interventions and better health outcomes. Acute disease, condition, or injury field investigators must consider not only what data need to be collected (see also Chapter 4), but how data should be collected, managed, and shared, which is the focus of this chapter. Today’s technologies—computers, software applications, ubiquitous mobile devices, social media, personal health monitoring devices, environmental monitors and sensors, electronic health records, and public health surveillance systems—play an integral role in effective field responses. Initial identification of optimal technologic tools results in more efficient and effective field responses. Like the overall response, technology’s role must be tailored to the affected population, setting, health jurisdiction, and the duration, size, and type of the response event. The role technology plays in support of how data are collected, managed, and shared is a dynamic and evolving aspect of the field response. Outbreak responses are shifting from a traditional concept of stand-alone deployment teams, with data collected and managed on-site, to a new normal in which field response data collection is integrated and incorporates existing infrastructure, jurisdictional surveillance, and informatics staff; it uses or builds on existing surveillance systems, tools, and other technologies. Selected technologies should facilitate more time for epidemiologists to focus on epidemiologic functions and for laboratorians to perform testing. This chapter presents principal considerations for selecting and using technologies to support field investigations and examples of how they have been applied.

Keywords:   technologies, surveillance systems, electronic health records, public health informatics, public health response, data collection, information systems, data integration, system interoperability, health information technology

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