Environmental public health indicatorsEnvironmental Public Health Indicators (EPHI) are descriptive summary measures derived from existing environmental health programs that can be used to enhance environmental health practice by improving the accessibility, availability, and distribution of information for decision-making. EPHIs were first described by the CDC/CSTE environmental public health indicators project in 2000. CSTE and CDC collaborated to address the gap in understanding environmentally-related diseases and to identify specific areas and indicators that should be evaluated. These indicators, along with other public health indicators developed by CSTE, were identified in part to provide a means of placing non-infectious diseases and conditions under surveillance towards building a comprehensive National Public Health Surveillance System (NPHSS), based on CSTE position statement 94-NSC-03. Click here to read the EPHI report.
Since 2000, the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program has begun to enhance environmental health surveillance capacity nationally and among state health departments by encouraging the linkage of environmental and public health monitoring data using standardized, systematic methods.
The State Environmental Public Health Indicators Collaborative (SEHIC) is a CSTE initiative that focuses on the development of indicators and tools to enhance environmental health surveillance capacity within state public health agencies. SEHIC works to enhance environmental health surveillance by identifying priority environmental health concerns and the appropriate data resources and methods for indicator development. This work is geared at universal applicability: each and every state should be able to replicate and produce environmental public health indicators. The SEHIC white paper provides additional information on the background and history of SEHIC as well as outlines the indicator development process.
SEHIC’s work is geared at universal applicability; that is, every state should be able to replicate and produce environmental public health indicators. SEHIC has established a process, produced a framework, and created a vision for developing environmental public health indicators for use at the state level, which includes standard language, definitions, and consistent description templates for defining the elements and attributes of indicators. The description templates are accompanied by how-to guides to show exactly how to calculate the measures being generated to describe the indicators.
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