In response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program’s (Tracking) Funding Opportunity (CDC-RFA-EH18-1802), the National Association of Health Data Organizations (NAHDO) proposes to build on its past Tracking accomplishments and relationships to:1) maintain and improve access to statewide health outcomes data; 2) strengthen data steward and Tracking grantee data partnerships; and 3) work with Tracking grantees and CDC staff to enhance the utility of statewide health care data; 4) advance workforce capacity in the use of hospitalization data; and 5) increase awareness of Tracking as a key partner to NAHDO’s stakeholders. Statewide inpatient hospital and Emergency Department data sets provide the Tracking Program with health outcomes data that, when integrated with environmental exposure and hazard data, provide a more complete understanding of the morbidity, financial impact, and health outcomes associated with environmental risk factors.
NAHDO has been a Tracking Partner in three previous Cooperative Agreements since 2007 and has established working relationships across the Tracking Program. As a national non-profit membership and educational association established in 1986 to promote the uniformity and availability of health care data, NAHDO has deep knowledge of state health data organizations (HDOs) and reporting programs, NAHDO’s leadership and Board represent leading HDOs and health data experts across the country, and NAHDO has a national network and training infrastructure that can be deployed for Tracking technical needs.
In this era of “precision public health” the Tracking Program is working to enhance current data and measures to meet the information needs of public health practitioners, researchers, and others in order to provide a better understanding of how the environment may be affecting human health. Increasing the specificity in and timeliness of hospitalization data adds layers of complexity to Tracking Program’s data access and reporting resulting from variation in state laws, agency workforce capacity, and technical environments. NAHDO proposes a series of activities, informed by a baseline needs assessment in Year 1, to identify barriers and innovative practices to inform and target technical assistance activities. NAHDO will leverage its decades of experience connecting state data experts to facilitate state-to-state exchange of methods and knowledge which has been proven effective in reducing disparities in technical gaps across states. NAHDO will also work to increase awareness of the Tracking Network to external partners and strengthen the long-term data partnership between HDOs and the Tracking Program.