The Pew Charitable Trusts sent a letter March 26 to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra detailing a list of steps that could help public health authorities get more data to respond to public health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the comments focus on the importance of case reporting, which consists of sharing individual reports of transmissible diseases; authorities can use that data to identify disease hot spots or changes in trends.
The letter, which was also signed by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists and the American Medical Informatics Association, includes recommendations to update federal regulations to encourage sharing that data electronically. This way, authorities can receive information and take steps to slow a disease’s spread more quickly than if reports were shared on paper.
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