Monday, February 13, 2012

Germany leads the way in centralizing infectious disease data

Germany has just finished testing an electronic reporting system for infectious disease. The system was only tested in the Rhein-Kreiss Neuss district, but theoretically all districts of the country would gather information from local hospitals, doctors, and labs, and forward all information about infectious diseases on to the central federal authority, the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin.

This test not only sets up a data structure for reporting, but also set up secure and confidential ways to submit patient information, as well as set doctors up with the proper computer systems for this kind of networking. This means that it will be faster and easier for German doctors to share information with the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, which is increasingly important in given the current climate of infectious disease and the necessity of fast response. This would be important in every country, and hopefully the world is moving in that direction.

--Sarah Kaewert

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