ASTHO Policy Watch 2022: Data Modernization and Privacy Protections
January 31, 2022 | Maggie Davis
ASTHO notes the top state public health policy issues in an annual Legislative Prospectus series. ASTHO is publishing a prospectus for the top 10 policy issues to watch in 2022. This week we are featuring data modernization and privacy protections.
The CDC launched the Public Health Data Modernization Initiative (DMI) in 2019 to create a modern, interoperable, and real-time public health data and surveillance infrastructure to support data-driven public health decision making. In Jan. 2021, President Biden issued an executive order calling for a data-driven response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which included a call to review existing public health data systems for their effectiveness, interoperability, and connectivity to support the detection and response to any future high-consequence public health threat. While the federal government is enhancing its investment in modernizing public health information systems and data sharing, states and territories are enacting laws to better facilitate public health data collocation and data sharing while protecting people’s privacy.
There are many potential policies states and territories can implement to modernize public health data and enhance data privacy protections. In recent years, states enacted laws that:
- Improve state Immunization Information Systems.
- Enhance their designated Health Information Exchange.
- Protect the privacy of consumer data.