The U.S. Department of Homeland Security National Incident Management System (NIMS) establishes a common framework and common terminology that allows diverse incident management and support organizations to work together across a wide variety of functions and hazard scenarios1. Using common terminology helps avoid confusion and enhances interoperability, particularly in fast-moving public health (PH) emergency responses. In addition, common terminology allows diverse incident management and support organizations to work together across a wide variety of functions and scenarios1. LOINC is one of a suite of designated standards for the electronic exchange of public health and clinical information. Implementation of LOINC facilitates improvement of semantic interoperability, including unified terminology2. More than 68,100 registered users from 172 countries use LOINC to move interoperable data seamlessly between systems3. The CDC Division of Emergency Operations (DEO) leads development of standardized PH emergency preparedness and response terminology to improve effective and interoperable communications between national and international partners. Realizing the scale of LOINC support and implementation across the global public health arena, CDC DEO collaborates with LOINC to further enhance and harmonize the current PH emergency response terminology and to attain critical PH emergency management and preparedness and response requirements.
Objective: The purpose of this project is to demonstrate the progress in development of a standardized public health (PH) emergency preparedness and response data ontology (terminology) through collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Emergency Operations (DEO), and the Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) system.