Environmental and public health informatics focuses on standardized data collection, sharing, and use. Data is transformed into information that is then used to better inform and develop programs. Wider adoption and use of informatics systems can lead to data-informed decision making that will improve population health.
Local, state, and federal agencies collect environmental health data that may not always be routinely analyzed or used to inform public health initiatives, especially at smaller local-level agencies. Environmental health professionals collect data through inspections, complaint investigations, and community interactions. Incorporating this data with other public health data has the potential to inform programs in new ways, such as a physician taking a patient’s home environment into account when making a diagnosis or using an app to easily assess the safety of an aquatic facility, restaurant, or body art studio.
Environmental health and public health programs, as well as healthcare facilities, have the potential to make an even greater impact on community health through increased data collection and sharing. Opportunities include:
- increased advocacy for resources
- establishment of data standards
- easier sharing of data internally and across agencies
- developing tools and trainings
- 2020 Informatics Webinar Series recordings
- Environmental Public Health Tracking Network: A national network of environmental health data
- Communication in Environmental Health and Tracking (CHAT) Webinar Series: communication and outreach strategies to facilitate a tracking program's engagement with traditional and nontraditional partners, impact policy, and work effectively across divisions
- GREAT Programs webinar: utilizing student interns for tracking projects