HMS helps health departments meet PHER funding criteria

Pittsburgh, PA, October 7, 2009 — Health Monitoring Systems helps health departments meet the CDC’s Public Health Emergency Response (PHER) funding criteria through use of its EpiCenter system.

State and local health departments are taking advantage of EpiCenter’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) approach to quickly meet the CDC’s PHER grant funding requirements for novel (H1N1) flu surveillance.  As stated by the CDC, “The purpose of the PHER grant is to support and enhance the state and local public health infrastructure that is critical to public health preparedness and response, such as…strengthening disease surveillance activities…community and personal preparedness activities; and addressing gaps and other public health preparedness challenges related to public health preparedness and response to an influenza pandemic.”

EpiCenter provides public health with a mechanism for quickly establishing hospital-based health surveillance in their region.  By using EpiCenter’s SaaS approach, a health department can connect to its hospitals and start analyzing the health data within days.  This fast turn-up time is ideal for implementing a surveillance system before the start of the upcoming flu season, and also for quickly meeting key criteria of the CDC PHER grants Focus Area 2 including:

  • Recruit and retain sentinel providers for the Influenza Sentinel Provider Surveillance Network.
  • Sustain surveillance for novel H1N1 influenza as indicated in CDC guidance for case-based or aggregate reporting as appropriate.  Report surveillance information at intervals established in CDC guidance during influenza season.
  • Collect year-round influenza surveillance data in the Influenza Sentinel Provider Surveillance System.
  • Improve monitoring of 1) influenza-like illness, 2) hospitalizations for respiratory infection, and 3) influenza and pneumonia mortality by using electronic data sources that currently exist or that have capability to be rapidly modified for reporting.
  • Implement improvements in influenza surveillance as recommended based on guidance from CDC.
  • Develop data standards compatible with national standards for reporting of influenza associated hospitalizations, electronic influenza laboratory reports and electronic influenza death reports.

The detailed PHER grant guidelines can be found here.

To find out how EpiCenter can help you meet these requirements and get your surveillance activities kick-started, please contact us at


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