State public health agencies' ability to accept and use electronic disease surveillance data has improved significantly, though some states still lag, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (PDF) .
Gains seen in use of electronic disease surveillance data, CDC says
The number of states reporting fully operational general communicable disease electronic surveillance systems rose to 47 in 2010 from 40 in 2007, according to the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for Oct. 21. In addition, the number of states that could receive electronic laboratory reports climbed to 42 from 28 in the same periods. States also reported significant gains in having communicable disease surveillance systems that were integrated—meaning different diseases systems could work together—and for those that are interoperable within the state or with other states.
That said, an editorial note accompanying the report states that the needs for such surveillance systems is growing too, and not all states are well prepared. “Progress has resulted in substantial variation among states in the electronic systems used for disease surveillance,” the report states. “Over time, independent decisions have produced electronic surveillance systems that range from narrowly focused disease-specific systems to systems used for monitoring a broad spectrum of conditions of public health interest.”
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