State public health departments are challenged to manage both disease outbreaks and prevention. Many times this is done by separate groups using disparate systems. Epidemiologists are responsible for monitoring and managing outbreaks of contagious infections. Other health and human services(HHS) personnel work with physicians,schools and clinics over issues of immunization.
A majority of the HHS systems act as not much more then repositories, spread sheets, of information. They seldom communicate with each other and anything beyond very simple queries is difficult if not impossible. One component that is missing from these systems is spatial information. This information could provide a key link in helping PH personnel better manage resources.