MENDS Pilot Sites Selected

In 2018, CDC funded NACDD to pilot a surveillance project in two states that is successful in Massachusetts. Called MENDS (Multi-state EHR-based Network for Disease Surveillance), the pilot will use electronic health record (EHR) data collected in clinical settings in two State Health Departments in the first year.

The MENDS pilot seeks to test an automated chronic disease surveillance system using data routinely stored in health records to provide clinically detailed, efficient, and timely information from large, diverse populations with minimal added work and cost for health departments or clinicians.

The development of MENDS will be guided by the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Commonwealth Informatics, Harvard Medical School’s Department of Population Medicine, the Public Health Informatics Institute, and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists. A guidance group made up of national surveillance experts will provide feedback on the expansion of MENDS so that it enhances its suitability as a viable component of a national chronic disease surveillance system.

NACDD invited all Chronic Disease Directors to apply to conduct the initial pilot. Eighteen State Health Departments expressed interest and were interviewed to assess their clinical relationships and readiness to begin implementing the pilot in January 2019. The Maryland Department of Health and the Washington State Department of Health were selected. NACDD will continue working with all interested State Health Departments to prepare them to participate in MENDS as funds become available.

To receive information about MENDS including newsletters, notification of webinars, and publications, contact Kathy Foell at kfoell@chronicdisease.org.