In an effort to improve NYC health in the public sphere, a pilot project is being launched to assemble all electronic health record (EHR) data into a surveillance tool. The project – the NYC Macroscope – is being undertaken by the City University of New York School of Public Health and the New York City Public Health Department. It will access information on NYC health from the city’s Primary Care Information Project in order to oversee the existence of chronic conditions as well as things like flu vaccinations.
According to Carolyn Greene MD, deputy commissioner of the NYC Department of Health, this project – while not intended to obliterate regular NYC health surveillance – can potentially offer a substantial amount of information on various conditions “in real time.” It is also hoped that it will “increase connections between public health and clinical care.”
In addition, Greene noted that public health authorities should be focusing on monitoring the population’s health. EHR, she noted, “offer a very useful tool to do this. In turn, it is our responsibility to feed data back to policymakers, to those who come up with clinical guidelines, to providers, to the public, and we hope that the data we gather and monitor using electronic health records will have an impact on clinical care.”