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Surveillance / Informatics: Indicators
CSTE supports development and use of indicators to support public health surveillance and assessment. A public health indicator is a standard measure of a health condition or determinant of health condition that is intended to support public health assessment activities including surveillance, community assessment, public health needs assessments, and public health program evaluation. Public health indicators include conditions placed under public health surveillance (e.g., notifiable infectious diseases and injuries), health behaviors, standard measures of occurrence of chronic diseases based on secondary data sources, and environmental hazard, exposure, and health effect indicators.
National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System (NNDSS)
The NNDSS includes nationally notifiable infectious diseases and a smaller number of noninfectious conditions that are under national surveillance, a designation made by CSTE, which was authorized to do so by ASTHO in 1950. The designations are made based on position statements developed in collaboration with CDC, local public health epidemiologists, and other partners. The list of nationally notifiable diseases is revised annually or as needed using interim position statements. The nationally notifiable infectious diseases are the basis for most state and national surveillance of infectious diseases in the U.S. More information about NNDSS can be found on the CDC website, and more information about CSTE position Statements that define nationally notifiable conditions can be found on the CSTE position statement page.
Subject-specific indicators:
  • The Chronic Disease Indicators (CDI) are a cross-cutting set of 98 indicators that were developed by consensus and that allows states and territories to uniformly define, collect, and report chronic disease data.
  • Maternal and Child Health: Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Health Statistics and Research has developed Health Status Indicators for Pennsylvania and Major Municipalities.
  • Environmental Health: Environmental 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. The CSTE environmental health page also has information about the environmental health indicators.
  • The National Oral Health Surveillance System (NOHSS) is a collaborative effort between CDC's Division of Oral Health and the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) designed to monitor the burden of oral disease, use of the oral health care delivery system, and the status of community water fluoridation on both a national and state level. CSTE and the state Chronic Disease Directors were instrumental in developing the framework for chronic disease surveillance indicators, including these oral health indicators.
  • Occupational health indicators are 20 indicators describing the occupational health status of the working population that can help guide priorities for prevention and intervention efforts. The indicators were developed by state and NIOSH representatives and include data from 28 states and, where available, the U.S., are provided from 2000 through 2008.
  • Injury indicators were created based on recommendations from the Injury Surveillance Workgroups (ISWs).
  • State-based Indicator Websites and Publications: Indicator-based Information System for Public Health (IBIS-PH) is an open-source software tool supporting the display of public health indicators as well as query of public health data. It was initially developed in the Utah Department of Health (supported by funds from the CDC Assessment Initiative). It is now supported by an IBIS Community of Practice and used in several states:
  • The core preconception health indicators allow states to uniformly define, collect, and report on data relevant to the health status of women between the ages of 18 and 44 years. They allow for assessing the effectiveness of preconception programs and for monitoring improvements in preconception health and health care at the federal, state, and local levels via indicators in 11 domains.
For more information about electronic laboratory and disease reporting, please contact Meredith Lichtenstein. Click here to view other Surveillance/Informatics Steering Committee activities.
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