The US public health delivery system includes disease control and prevention, maternal and child health, environmental health, epidemiology, and emergency preparedness and response. One of the most pressing needs in public health is the ability to access, aggregate, analyze, translate and disseminate public health information. Access to this information is especially critical when responding to disasters or other emergency events. Today, stakeholders must search multiple and disparate sources to find needed information, and often do not have the expertise or resources to aggregate and analyze the data so it can be used in a meaningful way. There is a lack of common standards among agencies that collect much of the data. This creates a substantial roadblock to researchers, educators, health professionals, service providers in endeavors to improve public health.
The Consortium for Public Health Informatics (CPHi) aims to address these issues. CPHi will lay the groundwork for integrating existing and emerging health related databases into an easily accessible resource for teaching, research, service, decision-making and policy development purposes. A key component of the consortium is its interdisciplinary nature.