Data Analytics and Public Health Informatics

ASTHO’s Center for Population Health Strategies supports state/territorial health officials (S/THOs) in advancing population health improvement as a core function of public health agencies. ASTHO’s framework for addressing population health encompasses three pillars: Data Analytics and Public Health Informatics, Clinical to Community Connections, and Health Equity and Social Determinants of Health.

ASTHO positions state and territorial health officials as chief health strategists in their communities by enhancing state and local capacity for using health data and informatics to effectively improve health outcomes and allocate resources. The Informatics team addresses electronic health data, health data systems, surveillance systems, and the capacity of state and local information infrastructures to measure population health status and workforce capacity.

Informatics Workforce

In order to build public health informatics capacity in state and territorial health agencies, ASTHO is engaged in various initiatives, such as: the Informatics Directors Peer Network (IDPN). Read more »

Informatics Directors Peer Network

ASTHO hosts an online platform, ASTHO State Informatics Directors Online Community to provide a venue for state and territorial health agency leaders in informatics, data analytics, and surveillance to share information on promising practices, network with one another, and engage in meaningful discussions with each other and ASTHO on emerging or pressing health IT/informatics issues. If you are interested in joining the Informatics Directors Peer Network (IDPN) and its online community, please contact

Strengthening Health Agencies' NAS Surveillance through Consensus-driven Data Standards and Practices

Click to view Strengthening Health Agencies’ Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Surveillance Through Consensus-Driven Data Standards and Practices (PDF)The rise of the opioid epidemic marked an increase in the incidence of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). This prompted a nationwide effort to uncover what data elements are currently being collected by health agencies and their partners as part of NAS surveillance. ASTHO conducted an environmental scan consisting of a literature, policy, and guidelines review and convened a series of multi-state focus groups with health agencies to identify the consistency of key NAS data elements, case definitions, and standards in the field.

From these findings, ASTHO determined a need for standard data elements, noting inconsistencies in NAS case definitions across states, the extent to which stakeholders were using NAS data, and how NAS data was being used. To address these challenges, ASTHO and our partners at Briljent and EMI Advisors supported the launch of a NAS data element submission tool to create a master list of NAS data elements, a data dictionary, and a template request for proposals to support health agencies in building a NAS registry. All of these findings are summarized within the report: Strengthening Health Agencies’ Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Surveillance Through Consensus-Driven Data Standards and Practices.

Electronic Case Reporting

Click to view Leading Public Health Through Health Informatics and Technology (PDF)Technologies, such as electronic clinical decision support tools and electronic case reporting (eCR), can be used to support disease surveillance, primary prevention, and care management. The future of disease surveillance is eCR, which is the process of electronically reporting disease cases from clinically-based electronic health records to public health agencies for integration into disease surveillance systems. eCR is an important first step in advancing bidirectional data exchange between healthcare and public health as it leverages data flow between these entities. ASTHO’s guidebook, Leading Public Health Practice Through Health Informatics and Technology, provides additional information on achieving bidirectional data exchange and preparing for eCR adoption and implementation.


The Population Health and Informatics Policy Committee is comprised of a Data Analytics and Informatics Subcommittee which leads ASTHO’s work on informatics and health IT policy issues. ASTHO provides technical assistance to state and territorial health agencies on policy questions, such as data governance and sharing, implementing data standards, the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA), and the Promoting Interoperability program. ASTHO communicates these policy issues across the governmental public health enterprise. Read more »

Standards & Interoperability

ASTHO is a member of several health IT Standards Development Organizations (SDO) and works collaboratively on the Standards & Interoperability (S&I) Framework’s Public Health Tiger Team. ASTHO is committed to increasing the perspective and needs of state public health in standards development. Read more »