ObjectiveDuring the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, federally qualified health centers rapidly mobilized to provide SARS-CoV-2 testing, COVID-19 care, and vaccination to populations at increased risk for COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. We describe the development of a reusable public health data analytics system for reuse of clinical data to evaluate the health burden, disparities, and impact of COVID-19 on populations served by health centers.Materials and MethodsThe Multistate Data Strategy engaged project partners to assess public health readiness and COVID-19 data challenges. An infrastructure for data capture and sharing procedures between health centers and public health agencies was developed to support existing capabilities and data capacities to respond to the pandemic.ResultsBetween August 2020 and March 2021, project partners evaluated their data capture and sharing capabilities and reported challenges and preliminary data. Major interoperability challenges included poorly aligned federal, state, and local reporting requirements, lack of unique patient identifiers, lack of access to pharmacy, claims and laboratory data, missing data, and proprietary data standards and extraction methods.DiscussionEfforts to access and align project partners’ existing health systems data infrastructure in the context of the pandemic highlighted complex interoperability challenges. These challenges remain significant barriers to real-time data analytics and efforts to improve health outcomes and mitigate inequities through data-driven responses.ConclusionThe reusable public health data analytics system created in the Multistate Data Strategy can be adapted and scaled for other health center networks to facilitate data aggregation and dashboards for public health, organizational planning, and quality improvement and can inform local, state, and national COVID-19 response efforts.
Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association – Oxford University Press
Published: Oct 26, 2021
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; health centers; EHR data; public health informatics infrastructure