Project Summary

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is engaging in a project to create the next generation Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) to obtain more timely mortality data and provide tools for meaningful analysis of these data.

Project Team

Internal Entrepreneurs
Chesley Richards, CDC
Brian Lee, CDC
Delton Atkinson, CDC
Tom Savel, CDC
Paul Sutton, CDC
Sherry Brown-Scoggins, CDC
Rajesh Virkar, CDC

External Entrepreneur
Paula Braun

Project Details

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The CDC conducts multiple public health surveillance efforts to detect and monitor diseases and conditions, assess the impact of interventions and assist in the management of and recovery from large-scale public health incidents. Today’s ever-present, media hungry environment pressures public health scientists, researchers and practitioners to provide health information on an almost instantaneous basis. This information is used to inform health policy, new health programs, and the general public on various public health issues.
Mortality statistics are one of the most important public health measures to collect. Right now 36 of the 57 US states and territories have an Electronic Death Registry System (EDRS) but not all deaths are reported electronically. CDC is beginning a project to make mortality data available in a more timely manner. In order to accomplish this, CDC will develop an EDRS that can meet the needs of states and the stakeholder communities involved in mortality statistics reporting. Achieving the next generation EDRS will require an evolution in business and systems thinking about electronic reporting, one that minimizes the continuing cycle of expensive and inefficient systems with short “shelf lives”.

In addition to building the new EDRS system, CDC hopes to develop a core set of informatics tools to revamp and improve analytics for mortality data, focusing on surveillance, geographic coding and data visualization. Once developed, CDC will extend the use of these tools to other public health surveillance programs and datasets through the identification and implementation of potential projects.


HHS Entrepreneurs is one of our in-residence pathways that is bringing new talent into government. HHS Entrepreneurs pairs HHS employees with external expertise to work on an identified problem for a 12 month period. This project is one of six projects from the third cohort of HHS Entrepreneurs. Learn more about HHS Entrepreneurs.