179961 A FREE GIS-Enabled, Integrated Public Health Surveillance Program

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 10:30 AM

Chiehwen Ed Hsu, PhD, MS, MPH , PHISTA Lab, School of Health Information Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX
Srinivasa Chakravarthi Chekuri, MBBS, MPH , PHISTA Lab, School of Health Information Sciences, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX
Fang-Ying Vicki Hsiao, MS , PHISTA Lab, School of Health Information Sciences, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX
Jerry A. Miller, MS, PhD , Research Administration, Shriner Hospital for Children, Houston, Texas, Houston, TX
To date many public health software programs for spatial analysis have been made available to address health informatics competencies of public health workforce. However, there is a lack of integration of programs to support both spatial data analysis and visualization. In addition, wider integration of spatial and attribute Data to improve public health surveillance are needed. The PHISTA Lab of the University of Texas School of Health Information Sciences developed an add-on program to the EpiMap program as a cluster detection program to monitor the spatial and temporal aberration of health outcomes for the EpiInfo package. This program combines the open source (free of cost) GIS component of EpiInfo (EpiMap, an add-on mapping component of the EpiInfo program) and SatScan, a widely-used cluster detection tool. This program seeks to integrate two health data management applications and data structures to standardize data analysis and output for health surveillance purposes, thus offering the potential for improving current/existing data collection/reporting. In this presentation we used two public health dataset (including cancer and HIV/AIDS) to demonstrate how such an integrated system could be employed to explore potential health disparities by either geographic regions or temporal variation. Data source could come from either federal, state or county sources, with the latter is often the lowest level of jurisdiction that routinely collects and/or reports infectious/chronic disease data. The developed system could be helpful for many federal, state and local public health workers. Such a system may help identify either community vulnerable populations (e.g., disabled citizens, children and seniors, etc), hazards, assets (such as physicians or healthcare facilities), or transportation routes. The training and familiarity of such system would prepare local health department staff, researchers, and others become ready for health surveillance and emergency responses.

Learning Objectives:
After completing of this session, learners will be able to: 1. Identify needed health data and system requirements for public health surveillance. 2. Understand basic public health data collection and spatial analysis and visualization. 3. Familiarized with skill level and expertise needed for public health preparedness and response.

Keywords: Geographic Information Systems, Information System Integration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: the principal investigator
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.