In 2006, the CT EPHT Program received funding from CDC to begin implementation of the state EPHT Network. The proposed network design is based on two distinct system designs: integrated and non-integrated. Integrated surveillance includes all the health measures that are or can be developed with the Connecticut Electronic Disease Surveillance System (CEDSS) or that will reside on the CT DPH Public Health Information Network (PHIN)platform. (For more information on PHIN, click here.) Non-integrated surveillance includes all health measures that cannot be developed within CEDSS or cannot reside on the CT DPH PHIN Platform. In these cases, a data warehouse will be developed that will house the information required by the EPHT surveillance activities.
Hospitalization and ED Data
Childhood Blood Lead Levels
Drinking Water Contaminants
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Ozone and Particulate Matter
The implementation of the EPHT network will be done in stages over the course of the five-year grant period. Core measures will be incorporated according the schedule set by CDC; additional non-core measures will be added as the data becomes available. The core measures include data on asthma hospitalizations, myocardial infarction hospitalizations, ozone, particulate matter, key water contaminants, birth defects, cancer, childhood blood lead levels, and vital statistics. The Content Workgroup will decide which specific measures must be reported.
The CT EPHT network will be implemented as part of the overall CT DPH PHIN initiatives.
CT EPHT has already begun the process of enhancing the CT EPHT network to capture, store, and distribute several of the EPHT core measures including hospitalization and emergency department data. It is expected that this technology and infrastructure will be in place by summer 2007.
CT Non-Core Measures
In addition to the core measures that are defined by CDC, states have the option of adding additional topics to the state network. Connecticut has chosen several non-core measures including occupational health data, carbon monoxide poisoning and radon.
Occupational Disease Surveillance System
The first part of the network that was developed was a module that allowed the Occupational Disease Surveillance Unit to input, store, and analyze their program data.
Connecticut has been involved in the National Carbon Monoxide Surveillance Workgroup (CO-SWG). The CO-SWG was formed in April 2005 as the result of increasing interest among EPHT grantees in CO poisoning as an EPHT indicator, as well as the ongoing frustration of other health and public health practitioners about the lack of a coordinated public health response to this important environmental hazard. Goals for the CO-SWG are broad:
Build a sustainable nationwide, or national, system for CO surveillance,
Standardize methodology for routine and disaster-related CO surveillance,
Promote programs for prevention/education of CO poisoning.
Connecticut intends to integrate carbon monoxide poisoning surveillance within the EPHT network.
The CT DPH Radon Program Unit is working with the EPHT to determine how their surveillance efforts can be incorporated into the CT EPHT Network.