Public Health Information Network (PHIN) is an initiative developed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to establish and implement a framework for sharing public health information electronically. PHIN seeks to establish a standardized way for federal, state and local jurisdictions to exchange public health data in real-time in a secure manner. Public health is a broad area of medicine concerned with the physical and mental health of a community. Public health data concerns issues such as water quality, sanitation, immunizations, pollution, infectious diseases and illness prevention.
PHIN oversees three major initiatives:
Communities of Practice (CoPs) hold meetings where members can share expertise and troubleshoot ways to access, store and secure electronic data more efficiently.
The PHIN Certification program collaborates with CDC partners and external stakeholders to develop processes that use program specific requirements for the evaluation of message structure and content, as well as security and data integrity. Meeting PHIN Certification is currently a requirement of CDC’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Cooperative Agreement.
The Public Health Information Network Messaging System (PHIN MS) is software that allows public health to securely send and receive encrypted data over the Internet to public health information systems. The PHIN Messaging & Vocabulary Program works with standard organizations such as Health Level Seven (HL7) and Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) to produce message specifications and mapping guides. The goal is to have public health professionals across the country use the same language and a single set of codes to represent public health concepts.
The Public Health Information Network website has more information.