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Glossary of Terms






            Application: Software running on a platform that performs a   Health information exchange: A public or private
            specific analysis (output) from a raw data set (input).  organization that governs a network of electronic health
                                                                  records from many providers onto a single platform using
            Bioinformatics: In the context of public health surveillance,   cloud computing. Any provider or health official with access
            the field of data science that analyzes and compares whole   rights can view or exchange the data in a patient record with
            genomes from organisms, showing temporality of infection   another provider or entity.
            and relatedness and allowing strong inferences about
            common sources of outbreaks and clusters. Bioinformatics   Interoperability: The ability of computer applications,
            relies on cloud computing with broadband internet     platforms, systems, and networks to communicate
            connectivity, platforms with robust messaging capacity, and   electronically with one another by using standardized
            applications running sophisticated algorithms.        nomenclature, language, and architecture.

            Clinical decision support: An application usually running in   Legacy system: An outdated or older computer system,
            the electronic health record platform that assists the provider   programming language, or application software that is used
            with patient care, such as medication interactions, allergies,   until upgrades are available, or used instead of available
            immunization reminders, appropriate laboratory diagnostics,   upgraded versions (often as a result of resource constraints).
            and public health case reporting.                     “Legacy system” also may be associated with terminology or
                                                                  processes that are no longer applicable to current contexts or
            Cloud computing: A federated data model that allows   content.
            computer systems to send and receive data on common
            platforms for user sharing, comparisons, analytics, and   Platform: Computer hardware and software needed to run
            visualization. The infrastructure for cloud computing is   an application that can receive inputs from, and send outputs
            composed of many server computers connected by the    to, multiple sources using common standardized messaging
            internet.                                             language.

            Disease (or condition) notification: In the context of public   Public health surveillance: The ongoing systematic
            health surveillance, disease cases that are voluntarily notified   collection, analysis, and interpretation of health data, closely
            to CDC by the state or local health department. Notifiable   integrated with the timely dissemination of these data to
            disease and reportable disease lists have a great deal of   those responsible for preventing and controlling disease (or
            overlap but are not necessarily the same.             condition), exposure, and injury.

            Disease (or condition) reporting: In the context of public   Situational awareness: In the context of public health
            health surveillance, diseases that are required by state and   preparedness, acquiring and analyzing data and the
            local law and rule to be reported to the health department   information about a known incident or event. Syndromic
            when suspected by a health care provider, hospital, or   surveillance is a situational awareness tool.
            laboratory, and possibly others such as restaurant operators
            and school principals.                                Syndromic surveillance: A branch of public health
                                                                  surveillance that traditionally identifies syndromes rather
            Electronic health record: The digital versions of     than individual cases. Syndromes are based on a collection
            patients’ medical encounters, which can include patient   of symptoms and signs (e.g., headache and fever) rather than
            demographics, diagnoses, vaccination status, medications,   diagnostic codes and lab results. Syndromes are obtained
            laboratory results, and more. Electronic health records are   from electronic health record emergency department chief
            not routinely part of the public health surveillance domain,   complaints, triage notes, and other data elements, and from
            but are critical sources of health care data that enhance   other points of care in the community such as urgent care
            public health response.                               centers, poison center calls, or emergency medical service
                                                                  runs. As diagnostics codes become available in the medical
                                                                  record, they are often incorporated.








            Driving Public Health in the Fast Lane                                                                 7
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