Integrating clinical practice and public health surveillance using electronic medical record systems

Am J Prev Med. 2012 Jun;42(6 Suppl 2):S154-62. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.04.005.


Electronic medical record (EMR) systems have rich potential to improve integration between primary care and the public health system at the point of care. EMRs make it possible for clinicians to contribute timely, clinically detailed surveillance data to public health practitioners without changing their existing workflows or incurring extra work. New surveillance systems can extract raw data from providers' EMRs, analyze them for conditions of public health interest, and automatically communicate results to health departments. The current paper describes a model EMR-based public health surveillance platform called Electronic Medical Record Support for Public Health (ESP). The ESP platform provides live, automated surveillance for notifiable diseases, influenza-like illness, and diabetes prevalence, care, and complications. Results are automatically transmitted to state health departments.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated / organization & administration*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Disease Notification / methods
  • Electronic Health Records*
  • Humans
  • Population Surveillance / methods*
  • Primary Health Care
  • United States / epidemiology