The HLN Consulting team attended the 2022 CSTE Annual Conference held between June 19 – 23, 2022 in Louisville, KY. Over 2,500 individuals attended the hybrid conference, with about two-thirds of the attendees being in-person. During the event, epidemiologists and informaticians from State, Territorial, Local, and Tribal (STLT) public health agencies (PHAs) presented on and discussed topics of public health interest, ranging from workforce burnout to the recent outbreak of monkeypox.
Here’s a few highlights from the conference:
Progress Updates on Electronic Case Reporting
eCR has come a long way from the pilots where it started and is now a nationwide system used by over 13,300 facilities and 50+ public health agencies. HLN was a co-author on an eCR/RCKMS breakout session, “Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Be-eCR – Advancing Electronic Case Reporting”. In the session, our partners at APHL and CSTE provided status updates on the eCR and RCKMS projects, while the Minnesota Department of Health shared their experiences and lessons learned with eCR for COVID reporting.
Expansion of eCR and RCKMS support for PHAs
Over the past few years, public health has seen an increase in technical assistance and support for implementing RCKMS and eCR. HLN was excited to co-author two abstracts for roundtables related to these support activities.
First, HLN participated in the CSTE-led “Reportable Condition Knowledge Management System (RCKMS) Community of Practice (CoP) Annual Roundtable”, where RCKMS users shared feedback on the RCKMS tool, content, and support activities. For the session, HLN, in the role of RCKMS Administrator, facilitated a conversation with users about the RCKMS tool and potential tool enhancements. Thanks to the RCKMS CoP community for sharing your great ideas!
Second, HLN participated in the APHL-led roundtable, “Electronic Case Reporting and Public Health Agencies – Needs and Directions”, where PHAs discussed their eCR needs and experiences. During the session, PHAs shared challenges in implementing eCR, including feedback about testing and onboarding processes, as well as technical and workforce needs. Again, we appreciate everyone sharing their progress and suggestions for improvements with us!
Data Modernization Initiative
In many of the Surveillance and Informatics sessions, the topic of the hour was the Data Modernization Initiative (DMI), a CDC-led project to modernize public health surveillance infrastructure across both the federal and STLT levels. The conference covered major DMI activities including PHII’s Data Modernization Learning Committee and CDC’s evaluation activities, as well as related HealthIT policy and standards topics, including HL7 FHIR and ONC’s Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA). On the HLN end, Noam Arzt presented a roundtable on TEFCA (What TEFCA Might Mean for Public Health), explaining the initiative, what it is, and how it might impact PHAs. For those that missed the session, check out Noam’s slide deck linked to the session title above and a blog on the topic here: ONC Finally Releases TEFCA: What it Might Mean to Public Health.
Finally meeting everyone in person!
The CSTE Conference marked the HLN’s first in-person event in over two years! It was wonderful meeting our colleagues and collaborators in person. Thanks to everyone who visited the HLN Booth at the Exhibit Hall, we can’t wait to see you again next year!
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