Division of Public Health, Office of Health Informatics (OHI)
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- About Public Health
The Office of Health Informatics (OHI) was established as part of the Division of Public Health (DPH) to be a direct resource for the State Health Officer. OHI’s primary responsibilities are to:
- Collect, register, preserve, amend, certify, and provide vital records data, which include birth, death, fetal death, marriage, divorce, and termination of domestic partnership.
- Collect, analyze, manage, protect, and disseminate health care and population health data for our partners and other data users, in support of programs and services improving the health and lives of Wisconsin’s residents.
- Integrate and manage major public health-related information and data systems so that data can be quickly and securely retrieved, analyzed, and shared.
Huong Nguyen-Hilfiger, Director
1 W. Wilson, Room 118
Madison, WI 53701
The Office includes four sections: State Registrar/Vital Records, Health Analytics, Data Operations and Technology, and Public Health Systems
- The State Registrar/Vital Records Section carries out state vital statistics functions as established in Wis. Stat. ch. 69. Vital records data are critical to various state and federal agencies. These data establish identity for legal and administrative purposes, determine eligibility requirements, reduce potential fraud, and provide population-based evidence that identifies health and social issues. Vital Records is responsible for the filing, registration, collection, preservation, amendment, and certification of vital records, which include birth, death, fetal death, marriage, divorce, and termination of domestic partnership. Vital Records is responsible for application and infrastructure support of the Statewide Vital Records Information System (SVRIS). SVRIS is an automated, secure, web-based software application designed to process vital records from point of initial entry and certification through registration, certificate issuance, and amendments.
- The Health Analytics Section provides analysis and visualizations of health data, including linked databases and reports, based on its data collection systems and other data sources. The section maintains the Wisconsin Cancer Reporting System and the Organ and Tissue Donation Program and conducts two population surveys (Behavioral Risk Factor Survey and Family Health Survey). The section provides demographic data, data on hospital inpatient and emergency department visits, and data from the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to the Department of Health Services for epidemiological and administrative use. Additionally, the Health Analytics Section oversees WISH (Wisconsin Interactive Statistics on Health), a web-based interactive query system providing local and statewide health information.
- The Data Operations and Technology Section oversees multiple data operations in OHI and supports activities related to DPH network management, software development and implementation, business intelligence, and daily systems operations. Specifically, it supports several data collection systems, creates new applications supporting DPH initiatives, links and shares information with numerous clients, and maintains a data warehouse of DPH data. The section implements and maintains information technology to connect local, state, and national partners for emergency response and daily public health activities. It also ensures the underlying hardware, software, security protocols, and technical infrastructure are in place to support key functions and services and to enable connections among public health information systems. Staff from the section perform customer and help desk support, as well as data quality, for systems and applications across OHI. This section also includes the Data Management Unit (DMU) which facilitates data management and data governance initiatives for the Division of Public Health. The DMU staffs the Data Management Advisory Team and the Data Governance Board and oversees the Data Resource Center (DRC), the hub of data access activities.
- The Public Health Systems Section manages several large-scale public health systems at DHS, including the Syndromic Surveillance System (SyS) and the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System (WEDSS) which are both relied upon and heavily utilized during public health emergencies. Syndromic Surveillance consists of real-time data from emergency department visits, including chief complaint and discharge diagnosis. WEDSS is the communicable diseases surveillance system. This section also manages and supports COVID Connect, the electronic registration and results delivery software, for much of the state-funded community and K-12 COVID-19 testing. Staff provide ongoing technical support to testers, site administrators, and patients, and provide data and analysis to support operations and strategic decision-making in the COVID-19 testing space. This section also manages the Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR), responsible for technical support and data quality of the system. Customers supported by the WIR include health systems, HMOs, local and Tribal health departments, and internal partners across DPH and Medicaid Services. Data from WIR can be accessed by the public through the WIR interface and Tableau dashboards, as well as population-level data delivered to providers and payers.
OHI has key relationships with other entities in DHS, local health departments, universities, health care providers, and federal public health agencies.
Questions about the data? See a list of OHI data contacts by data source.