Surveillance and
Data Systems


The WV Bureau for Public Health (WVBPH) will continue to play a leading role in West Virginia Healthy People 2000 through the direct collection and analysis of data, generation of information, and participation in internal and external collaborations.

Baseline data existed for approximately half of the 61 Healthy People 2000 Objectives adopted by West Virginia in 1991. While data sources have been created or accessed for many of the remaining objectives, baseline data are still not available at midcourse for certain ones, raising the issue as to whether these objectives should have been promulgated in 1991.

Most offices in WVBPH collect data necessary to accurately measure the health status of West Virginians. These data include health care encounters, disease surveillance, service delivery, and population-based statistics. Particularly useful for the Healthy People 2000 process are vital statistics and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data. Vital statistics data are crucial to assessing gains or losses in objectives dealing with mortality and morbidity. BRFSS data measure specific health behaviors that impact a person's risk for disease or disability, e.g., exercise, smoking, obesity,









22.1 Analysis and publication of data on progress toward 10 objectives not now tracked

See Objective Update

22.2 Development and implementation of national health status indicators

See Objective Update

alcohol use, diet, seatbelt use, health insurance coverage, etc. Other data are collected on maternal and child health, health care facilities, aging and long-term care, environmental health, laboratory activity, immunization levels, and surveillance and disease control. On the whole, our data collection systems have worked well in measuring progress, or lack of, toward our goals.

Recent developments that offer great promise for tracking progress of future objectives include the linkage of multiple maternal and child databases in the Office of Maternal and Child Health, the ongoing process of creating a statewide immunization information system, the creation of a bureauwide and a statewide E-mail system and Internet sites to make more of our data sets and information available to data users. The Internet will allow far more providers, educators, students, and the general public to access WVBPH data.

The Objectives

OBJECTIVE 22.1 Implement in West Virginia a periodic analysis and publication of data necessary to measure progress toward at least ten (10) of the priority objectives not now tracked.

UPDATE When the year 2000 objectives were initially selected, tracking systems were in place for all objectives in the areas of physical activity (1), tobacco use (3), unintentional injuries (9), heart disease and stroke (15), cancer (16), HIV infection (18), sexually transmitted diseases (19), and immunization and infectious diseases (20). These systems continue to function to provide data with which to measure progress toward year 2000 targets.

The table to the right details progress made toward establishing tracking systems for those objectives for which none were available in 1990. Systems have been established since 1991 that now allow tracking (i.e., annual monitoring) of Objective 2.1, 5.1, 8.1, 17.1, 17.2, and 21.3. Baseline data (i.e., point-in-time) have been obtained for Objectives 2.2, 2.3, 4.1, 5.4, 7.2, 8.3, 11.1, and 13.1.

OBJECTIVE 22.2 Participate in the development and implementation of a national set of Health Status Indicators appropriate for federal, state, and local health agencies and become one of the states to collect and utilize these data.

UPDATE Achieving Objective 22.2 will be an ongoing process primarily driven by the agenda of the U.S. Public Health Service. West Virginia must remain an active participant in the process to have input into the national planning process. The state has participated in a number of the annual meetings involved with the process and will continue to work with national leaders in planning the Healthy People 2010 objectives.

Baseline Data and Tracking Systems Established For Objectives Since 1990
2. Nutrition 2.1 Tracking system

2.2-2.3 Baseline data

4. Alcohol and Other Drugs 4.1 Baseline data

4.2-4.3 N.A.

5. Family Planning 5.1 Tracking system (pre-1990)

5.2-5.3 N.A.

5.4 Baseline data

6. Mental Health & Mental Disorders 6.1-6.3 Tracking systems


7. Violent and Abusive Behavior 7.1 N.A.

7.2 Limited baseline data

7.3 Tracking system (pre-1990)

8. Educational and Community-Based Programs 8.1 Tracking system

8.2 Tracking system (pre-1990)

8.3 Baseline data

8.4 N.A.

10. Occupational Safety and Health. 10.1-10.3 N.A.
11. Environmental Safety and Health 11.1 Baseline data

11.2 N.A.

12. Food & Drug Safety. 12.1-12.3 N.A.
13. Oral Health 13.1 Baseline data

13.2-13.3 N.A.

14. Maternal and Child Health 14.1-14.2 Tracking systems (pre-1990)

14.3 N.A.

17. Diabetes and Chronic Disabling Conditions 17.1 Limited tracking system

17.2 Tracking system

17.3 N.A.

21. Clinical Preventive Services 21.1 Tracking system


21.2 N.A.

21.3 Tracking system

N.A. ' Not Available

Meeting the Objectives

Health Promotion Channels
for Achieving Objectives:

Public Health Programs
Health Care System
Higher Education

The six health promotion channels listed above provide broad mechanisms for the dissemination of print, graphic, and digital electronic data. In the past, data dissemination has consisted primarily of the sharing of written materials with a somewhat limited user community of public health workers, schools, medical providers, agencies, media, and libraries.

In 1995, the WVBPH initiated a Home Page on the World Wide Web, making a number of publications and other health resources available to a larger public. Additionally, the Bureau has increased its number of contracts and formal and informal collaborations with the state's colleges and universities. The establishment of the Prevention Research Center at West Virginia University has also increased the opportunities for data sharing, especially in the area of cardiovascular risk factors. It is likely that public health will continue to expand its role with other health and community professionals in seeking innovative solutions to problems resulting from unhealthy lifestyles, monitoring health services delivery, and recommending wellness strategies.

An expanded federal emphasis on the core functions of public health assessment will ensure that states focus on more efficient and cost-effective ways of data collection. The WVBPH has recently renewed its commitment to improved database quality and utility. The Bureau leadership appointed a Data and Information Systems Committee, with subcommittees dealing with (1) automation hardware and software, (2) data and data analysis, (3) data dissemination, and (4) security and confidentiality. This activity was an outgrowth of a successful Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initiative known as the Information Network for Public Health Officials Project (INPHO), which was operational from 1995-97. INPHO provided nearly $1.5 million in resources directed toward automation, local health management information systems, the creation of a Wide Area Network, Internet access for state and local health, and a wide variety of distance training and web development activities.

We have learned much about surveillance and data systems through the year 2000 process. As we look toward establishing goals for the year 2010, the Bureau is committed to developing objectives that are measurable and can be monitored over time. Only in this way can we obtain a clear picture of what we need to do, and how best to utilize our resources, to assure all West Virginians an improved health status in the 21st century.

Surveillance and Data Systems - Meeting the Objectives

Lead Entity:
WVBPH Data and Information Systems

Plan Coordinator:
Daniel M. Christy, MPA, Director
Health Statistics Center
Office of Epidemiology and Health Promotion
WV Bureau for Public Health
(304) 558-9100/FAX (304) 558-1553

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