State-level public health information has traveled through the Nationwide Health Information Network to federal authorities for what is considered to be the first time, American Medical News reports.
The NHIN is a virtual network designed to electronically share information between health care organizations nationwide.
The Regenstrief Institute -- an Indiana-based health care research organization -- sent the data to CDC on behalf of the Indiana State Department of Health.
The data included information collected from 76 emergency departments in Indiana about new cases of influenza and other flu-like diseases.
According to health officials, broad use of the NHIN will facilitate more prompt identification of public health trends because the network collects data faster than older methods of aggregating data (Dolan, American Medical News, 10/14).