IHRC will be attending the 2016 Public Health Informatics Conference
Bernard Quigley
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IHRC will be attending the 2016 Public Health Informatics Conference

IHRC will be attending the 2016 Public Health Informatics Conference, hashtag #2016PHI, taking place at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta in Atlanta, GA, from August 21 -24. IHRC’s Tony Pruitt and Edward Kujawski will be presenting a poster titled Optimizing Public Health Infrastructure-Creation of a Future Secure Messaging Service, on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 from 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM. The poster abstract appears below.


CDC’s Secure Messaging Transport Service for Public Health (MTS) mission is to create a new platform for public health messaging transport that will replace the Public Health Information Messaging System (PHINMS). PHINMS has enabled secure, reliable transport of data among the disparate systems of local, state, CDC, and healthcare entities, including data exchange for cancer and immunization registries, national notifiable diseases, chemical and biological threat reporting, influenza surveillance, and other mission-critical initiatives. Over 500 installed instances of PHINMS interoperate with CDC today, and many other instances are used throughout the U.S. public health system to support state and local public health data exchange needs.

Current PHINMS technology and interoperability standards are aging. There is a need to advance an approach that builds on modern technology and new directions in interoperability standards. Key objectives for the MTS project are to:

  • Ensure that CDC can continue to provide secure and reliable data transport services while facilitating better interoperability with healthcare.
  • Modernize, expand, and improve the capabilities of CDC’s transport services to better serve emerging public health business needs.
  • Leverage emerging technologies, standards, and protocols to provide a robust platform.
  • Provide system scalability for public health emergencies or other surge situations.
  • Take advantage of new security authentication protocols.
  • Minimize ongoing installation, operation, and support costs.
  • Replace the PHINMS client with light-weight web client with improved user interface, monitoring, and configuration capabilities.
  • Ensure the latest industry and healthcare interoperability standards are supported.
  • Provide a high level of accountability and assurance that every message sent is monitored and tracked until delivered to its final destination.
  • Support backward compatibility with the existing PHINMS client.

The MTS project team is actively engaging stakeholders from local, state, and other public health organizations, as well as CDC programs, to gather requirements, document issues with the current system, and present prototype architecture for feedback.

The proposed system architecture will be presented, including flexible messaging and routing services with capabilities that extend beyond the current PHINMS. The proposed architecture will consist of a web services platform hosting REST Web Services coupled with a light-weight client, both of which will replace the existing PHINMS receiving environment and client. The new REST interoperability standards align with evolving HL7 FHIR REST web services for healthcare. Industry leaders are using REST to support high-performance and scalable systems, and healthcare is rapidly adopting the HL7 FHIR interoperability standard. It is crucial that public health consider HL7 FHIR to promote better interoperability with healthcare.

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