Research - Surveillance
Understanding emerging and existing health threats begins with good data. Public health surveillance ensures that researchers, programs, and policymakers have access to the most up-to-date knowledge, critical to improving population health. As today’s public health systems are challenged to do more with fewer resources, we work to strengthen the field's efforts to control and prevent injuries and disease through surveillance.
PHI provide surveillance expertise to allow for better planning, implementation, and evaluation of programs and policies at the local, regional and global levels. Our programs have led and supported surveillence efforts in tobacco usage and related health impacts, workplace disease and injury, chronic diseases such as cancer and asthma, West Nile Virus and other communicable diseases, as well as other public health issues.
Our expertise includes:
- Tracking: PHI leads efforts in collecting, analysing and interpreting public health data to better track and predict disease and injury across populations.
- Data analysis: PHI experts are available to analyze evaluation data to provide clear findings and scalable recommendations.
- Data collection systems: Increase data sharing for planning and program implementation by working with PHI. We'll provide tools and platforms that allow public health practitioners to easily translate and act upon health data.
HOW CAN WE WORK TOGETHER? SEND US AN EMAIL.
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Resources and Tools
- C/NET Solutions gives registrars the complete cancer data management system they need to run an efficient cancer registry and meet the standards of accrediting agencies, with a variety of software packages and add-on modules, designed for facilities of all sizes and situations: CNExT Registry, CNExT Multi-Hospital, and the Cancer Alert System
- Costs of Environmental Health Conditions in California Children
- Survey Research Group: State-of-the-Art Data Collection, Research, and Analysis
- The Burden of Asthma in California: A Surveillance Report
Alcohol Research Group
California Occupational Health Surveillance and Evaluation Program (OHSEP)
Cancer Registry of Greater California
Center for International Tobacco Control
Child Health and Development Studies
Survey Research Group
Here's How We're Making a Difference
Collecting Cancer Data to Improve Care Across All Populations
Each year in California, nearly 10,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer, 1400 with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and more than 2,000 with myeloma. Through the SEER Patterns of Care Studies, PHI's Cancer Register of Greater California (CRGC) collects information from physicians and medical records to supplement and verify routine cancer registry data on these types of cancers—including patients diagnosed across the 49 counties that make up the CRGC catchment area, and their physicians. The CRGC assesses just over 103,410 new cancer cases each year from across 49 counties. The CRGC processes over 471,000 pathology reports and performs quality control on over 67,257 incoming cases each year. In the last year, CRGC has identified and added 11,082 new cases to the statewide database in physicians’ offices that were not seen in the other reporting sources.
The SEER Patterns of Care Studies describe, characterize, and compare practice patterns and treatments provided for cancer in different geographic areas of the US and are conducted annually under a Congressional directive. Thanks to the CRGC's work, the collected data will be consolidated at the National Cancer Institute with data from other SEER registries across the US, allowing researchers to find patterns of treatment and identify any disparities by age, geography, or race and ethnicity. This information is then used to inform providers of cancer care and for further research into reasons for disparities.
In 2017, CRGC received a silver (second place) award for meeting 13 out of 14 Data Quality Marker Indicators in their most recent data submission to the National Cancer Institute’s SEER program. This award reflects the dedication and hard work of CRGC staff across the state.
Sensitive Topics and Hard-to-Reach Populations
In 2012, the County of Orange Health Care Agency, Alcohol and Drug Education Prevention Team, contracted with Survey Research Group (SRG) to conduct the Orange County Alcohol and Other Drugs Study, a random-digit dial survey of adults in Orange County funded by the County of Orange Health Care Agency and conducted every ten years. SRG was responsible for survey instrument translation in Spanish and Vietnamese, data collection, data cleaning, and creating weights using iterative proportional fitting techniques (raking).
Using New Mapping Techniques to Identify Elevated Breast Cancer Rates
Research by the Public Health Institute’s (PHI) California Breast Cancer Mapping Project (CBCMP), a project of the California Environmental Health Tracking Program (now Tracking California), pinpointed four previously unidentified areas of California that have invasive breast cancer rates substantially higher than the state average. As opposed to traditional breast cancer surveillance, which relies on aggregate county-level data, the CBCMP developed and implemented a protocol to map breast cancer rates within and across county boundaries by looking at data (obtained from the Cancer Registry of Greater California, or CRGC) by census tract. This identified the four areas of concern, or groups of census tracts that showed invasive breast cancer rates 10-20 percent higher than the state average between 2000-2008. The four “areas of concern” encompass sections of Ventura, Los Angeles, Riverside and Orange counties, as well as parts of the north and south Bay Area. Since these areas span sections of multiple counties, they had never been identified by traditional county-level surveillance as having elevated breast cancer rates.
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