SSG's Contribution to Public Health
Public health relies on information. State and local health departments need access to accurate health information to carry out policies to protect the public from various diseases and illnesses. Facilities and labs share their data with public health agencies to comply with the latest reporting requirements, especially when faced with a public health crisis. This allows the agency to develop a swift, effective response to limit the spread of disease.
But the time and effort it takes to manage, collect, and analyze this information can take away from the agency’s ability to respond to an emerging health crisis. SSG has pioneered a solution to help public health agencies simplify the reporting and data collection process, so they can access the data they need to mount an effective response in real-time.
Changing the Way Public Health Agencies Collect Data
It is up to public health agencies at the state and local levels to collect data on the spread of communicable diseases that pose a danger to the public. This data comes from many sources, including private and public healthcare providers, hospitals, and lab testing facilities. But each lab and healthcare facility uses a different software program or electronic health record system to record information on various diseases and conditions.
Much of the software used in public health is not compatible with one another, which can delay the public health department’s ability to respond to the crisis. Employees may have to manually enter patient and case-specific data into the database, which is time-consuming and prone to human error.
Once the public health department has collected this information, it will need to organize it into a report that is then shared with public health agencies on the federal level. But the report may contain missing or incorrect information if these files are not compatible with one another. The department may depend on a fragmented information system with data from different sources. This information bottleneck limits the government’s ability to respond to the health crisis. Officials may be in the dark regarding who is at risk of infection or whether the current prevention methods effectively prevent transmission.
SSG’s software solutions for public health are designed to automate and accelerate the administration of public-health workflows to help agencies overcome these obstacles. The program will automatically analyze and sort all incoming information so workers won’t have to manipulate data manually. This gives them more time to follow up with participating providers and facilities. The program will also identify missing fields and duplicate responses, so the user can respond to these issues before uploading the finished report into the database.
How Does Software Affect the Public’s Health, Safety, and Welfare?
Every second counts in preventing the spread of potentially life-threatening diseases. A pandemic or outbreak could happen without warning, and increasing the speed and flow of this information reduces the time it takes for public health agencies to mount an effective response, which can ultimately help save lives. Public health agencies must be able to quickly investigate the situation and mount an effective response to limit the effects of the crisis. SSG’s Public Health Data Management Solution reduces the time it takes for agencies to collect and process this data, so officials can begin responding as quickly as possible.
Every case counts as well when combating the spread of diseases. Each infection may contain clues that could help the agency improve its response. Missing or incomplete public health data can make the response less effective, which increases the population’s risk of infection. SSG’s software also makes it easy for the public health agency to correspond and collaborate with providers, hospitals, and lab testing facilities to ensure they are using the appropriate reporting methods.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for increased communication between providers and public health agencies. Throughout the pandemic, state and federal health officials required hospitals, labs, and doctors’ offices to report the number of positive COVID-19 cases, as well as other important patient information, such as how many people were hospitalized with the disease, whether the person was asymptomatic or had pre-existing health conditions, and whether the person died of COVID-19 or some unrelated cause. The government used this data to depict how the disease spread across the country accurately. Officials then implemented lockdowns and social distancing measures to avoid overwhelming the local healthcare system.
Healthcare strategies and solutions depend on the free flow of information. Public health departments need to be able to access the information they need in real-time to keep the public safe from harm.
Contact SSG to learn more about our public health software.