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. The incorporation of this data with other public health data has the potential to inform programs in ways that have not yet existed. Imagine a physician taking a patient’s home environment into account when making a diagnosis. Or, imagine 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 health care 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
- Development of tools and trainings
Learn more about Informatics:
NEHA’s Informatics Resources serve to support environmental health informatics programs and data-use activities. These resources showcase data collection, sharing, and use stories and serve to support the implementation of these activities within your own program. Resources include online education, a repository of free and low-cost tools, case studies, and more.
Environmental Public Health Tracking
Environmental and public health tracking and informatics is an essential piece of local, state, tribal and federal agencies as it relates to the status of the public and environmental health in this country. Data is the holy grail of information for local health departments and federal agencies alike for determining what projects to take on next and how to better the community. Some would even suggest that data has been responsible for diverting illness and potentially saving lives. Well, environmental health does save lives, money and protect the future, right? So why wouldn't data?
NEHA and the CDC have partnered to help engage local health departments to start sharing data to better inform the community while contributing to a nation-wide network. Environmental Health tracking is about engagement and access and NEHA is constantly working with EH professionals to use data effectively, and share data efficiently.
CHAT Webinar Series
In partnership with CDC’s NCEH, NEHA will be hosting the Communication in Environmental Health and Tracking (CHAT) Webinar Series. This five-part webinar series will explore different communication and outreach strategies to facilitate a tracking program's engagement with traditional and non-traditional partners, impact policy and work effectively across divisions.