What is EpiCenter?

EpiCenter automatically collects, manages, and visualizes health-related data to help public health professionals detect changing health conditions as they occur. This highly interactive tool empowers users to monitor, assess, and analyze data for their region in near–real time, thereby helping them respond more effectively.

As a browser-based application, maintained in accordance with the Software-as-a-Service model, EpiCenter provides immediate and ongoing access to the information users need without placing an additional burden on their IT resources.

Designed to be flexible, EpiCenter can easily be adapted to the evolving needs of public health. Its primary functions are based on emergency department registration data, but it can incorporate increasingly detailed data for greater specificity, leading to deeper insights into health conditions.


Uses and Cases

Emergency preparedness drills, a common exercise, provide scenarios that demonstrate the role EpiCenter can play in event detection and situational awareness. For example, in 2008, the Hudson Regional Health Commission conducted a preparedness drill at a Northern New Jersey hospital. Read more about this on our blog.

In the summer of 2007, the Utah Department of Health reported an epidemic of cryptosporidiosis that involved 711 laboratory-confirmed cases. Retrospective analysis showed that EpiCenter’s more specific symptom categories — in particular, the diarrhea category — would have detected this epidemic as it began to develop. Read more about this on our blog.

Monitoring insect populations that act as disease vectors is often infeasible or unnecessary. However, under extraordinary circumstances such as widespread flooding, measuring the insects’ impact on humans is a way to gain insight on how much the insect population has grown. Read more about this on our blog.

On April 19, 2008, EpiCenter detected an increase in vomiting complaints in Portage County, Ohio. A public health investigation revealed that a number of the affected individuals had eaten at the same Kent, Ohio restaurant over a period of five days, April 14-18.  All of them tested positive for the same strain of norovirus. Read more about this on our blog.

Outbreak Investigation

EpiCenter’s outbreak investigation functionality forms the bridge from analysis to action.

Chasing down statistical events can become tedious.  EpiCenter helps streamline this process through its investigation functionality.  EpiCenter’s automated analysis provides users with a focused list of health-related anomalies.  Public health can then associate a single anomaly, or multiple anomalies, to a single investigation — saving time and focusing attention where it belongs.

Additionally, the design of the outbreak investigation functionality is intended to be the first step towards a more robust outbreak management capability.  By uniting syndromic and case information in one investigation, public health now has the ability to manage a broader variety of events through a single system.

Admissions Reporting

EpiCenter’s admissions reporting functionality builds on the core syndromic data, providing a more comprehensive view into patient visit details and trends and providing public health with a larger, more complete picture of health in the community.

On an individual basis, the information gathered from these data shows why a patient visited a facility and whether they were admitted, thus providing a complete view of the visit. On a larger scale, admission rates can act as a gauge for the severity of an event. By incorporating these data with registration data, EpiCenter can:

  • Improve situational awareness. It provides public health with the ability to view and compare these data against other health data, providing valuable insight into the severity of events and a more complete view of health trends in the community.
  • Enhance decision support and allow for earlier response. EpiCenter does this by providing a comprehensive view of visit-lifecycle trends. It appends the admissions information to each patient’s visit, and also links multiple visits through the same healthcare facility or health system, providing epidemiologists with a clear picture of that patient’s visit history.
  • Save time by automating reporting. It eliminates reporting fluctuations from healthcare facilities that result from human input, thus resulting in more consistent reports and reducing time spent on data validation. It also decreases the time spent on standard report creation by automating reports such as admission reporting and mortality reporting.

Knowing the outcome of emergency department visits is crucial to assessing the potential severity of an event. EpiCenter provides public health access to this information through its clear, intuitive web interface, allowing agency personnel to quickly assess and control the situation in their region.


EpiCenter is built for innovation. It can incorporate data from a variety of sources; it can accommodate users’ particular classification specifications. These capabilities provide clients with the flexibility they need in order to take on new challenges.

The system’s versatility makes it suitable for pursuing various emergent issues in community health. Particularly within the last few years, Health Monitoring clients have found EpiCenter a useful tool for investigating many issues.

  • Opioid Abuse  Using classifiers that have been customized to their precise needs, state health departments are deploying EpiCenter to analyze opioid-related hospital visits on the basis of age, sex, location, and other demographic factors.  EpiCenter can output this data in report form, including interactive maps, so that users get information perfectly tailored to the specific problem they are trying to solve.
  • Gun-Related Injuries  Tracking gun violence is a thorny problem for public health.  However, EpiCenter’s ongoing collection of real-time emergency department visit data includes information related to gunshot injuries. When spatiotemporal clusters of gunshot wounds are identified in this data, they can be cross-indexed with media reports of shootings and a database of similar events. In past examinations, many clusters corresponded to at least some media coverage of a shooting in the same time and place.
  • Antimicrobial Usage Reporting  Microbes that have mutated into drug-resistant strains, such as MRSA, pose a fearsome threat to hospital patients. To work on addressing this problem, the CDC and some healthcare providers have been gathering data on hospitals’ use of antimicrobial drugs. The objective is to carefully manage the use of these drugs in order to minimize the microbes’ exposure and adaptation. However, some hospitals find antimicrobial usage reporting to be complex and time-consuming. EpiCenter has the capability to handle such tasks. In a 2018 pilot project sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Health, three of the state’s hospitals provided usage details and patient volume to the EpiCenter system. Health Monitoring staffers then used the system to calculate the CDC’s desired metrics and submitted the results electronically to the national repository.

User Manual

The user manual provides an overview of EpiCenter’s operations. For additional specifics, you may wish to consult the bulletins posted on our blog.


See EpiCenter in action. These video clips show the system’s versatility, as well as the flexibility that enables users to easily tailor it to their own purposes.



Nightmare stories of failed IT projects haunt managers and administrators alike.  Annually, the Standish Group publishes the ‘Chaos Report’ detailing the issues that plague software projects for the government and private industry.  And each year, the story of failed software projects remains bleak.

The Software as a Service (SaaS) approach to software delivery helps solve this troublesome problem.  The SaaS approach maintains a centralized software application that users can access remotely over the internet.

SaaS simplifies the initial scope of IT projects for users by eliminating complicated hardware and software installations.  SaaS also reduces the IT investment on an ongoing basis by removing the burden of upgrades and maintenance from client IT groups.

In particular, large-scale data collection and analysis projects benefit from the SaaS approach. Economies of scale are created.  As an example, the EpiCenter system at Health Monitoring receives data from hundreds of hospital systems. These hospitals represent nearly every health IT vendor and conceivable configuration.  Thanks to this experience, Health Monitoring staff can fix errors faster and work through issues more efficiently.


Health Monitoring works closely with each client to help them define their overall goals and identify the specific metrics they will need to use in working toward those goals. At every stage of a project, Health Monitoring takes care to document the client’s desires and concerns.

After an introductory client meeting, a memo is generated and shared for further discussion. The company and the client identify a mutually satisfactory approach and refine the details of the project. Health Monitoring then assembles an official proposal for client approval. If more changes are requested, Health Monitoring will continue to iterate on the proposal until the plan fully meets the client’s needs.


In short, service is about ensuring success.

Health Monitoring removes the burden of a complicated IT project from the client organization and places it in the hands of professionals who are dedicated to the task.  The company’s knowledgeable staff can quickly identify issues before they emerge as project-threatening problems. Early identification and remediation of those issues keeps client projects running smoothly so they can progress toward success.

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