From designing and developing public health IT systems to working with policymakers to foster improvements in population-level health metrics, Altarum is widely acknowledged as a valued and resourceful partner in advancing public health goals. Altarum is also at the forefront of interoperability and the exchange of health information between public health systems and data providers.

Our team is proud of our accomplishments and the impact we’ve had on public health policy and systems. From developing the first immunization registry in the country to be adopted for immunizations delivered in both public and private settings, to evaluating new data sources to help the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) monitor the impact of the Affordable Care Act, to mobile clinical decision support tools – we’re working hard to advance public health.

The Public Health Systems (PHS) practice area, part of the Information and Technologies Strategies group of Altarum Institute, is made up of a team of highly experienced health IT professionals. Our team has years of experience delivering solutions in public health. Our clients include local and state health jurisdictions such as the state of Michigan, federal clients including the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and commercial pharma clients. Our areas of expertise include:

  • Disease Surveillance
  • Syndromic Surveillance
  • Sexually Transmitted Disease Case Management
  • Public Health Registries
  • Public Health Interoperability
  • Mobile Clinical Decision Support Tools

Custom Software Development

Our team consists of dedicated software engineers with years of experience in health IT. This includes all phases of the software development lifecycle from requirements gathering to implementation to maintenance. We do this on time and within budget by using an agile software development methodology that includes the customer at every step.

Examples of our work include the Michigan Disease Surveillance System, responsible for collecting data on all reportable diseases in Michigan and forwarding them to the CDC; the Michigan Syndromic Surveillance System which collects over 12,000 emergency registrations each day from more than 80 hospitals across the state looking for disease outbreaks; and ImageSmart, a clinical decision support system that helps physicians select the most appropriate imaging study for their patients.

Integration and Interoperability Services

Timely data is the lifeblood of any public health system. Getting that data from a physician’s office, a lab or other source to the appropriate public health system is critical in monitoring the health of a population and it requires in-depth knowledge of:

  • Data formats
  • Data security
  • Interface engines
  • Data transport mechanisms

PHS has years of hands-on experience integrating public health systems including:

  • Integrating Electronic Lab Reporting with disease surveillance systems
  • Submitting case definition HL7 messages to the CDC
  • Creating message definition specifications
  • On-boarding and testing of new data providers
  • Installation, configuration and message routing logic for integration engines
  • Message testing and validation tools

Our integration experience includes working with state and regional health information exchanges and includes multiple versions of HL7, the Rhapsody interface engine and various CDC tools including Public Health Information Network Messaging System (PHIN-MS), PHIN Vocabulary Access and Distribution System (VADS) and the Message Subscription Service.