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5.6 The Community Guide Decision and Implementation Support System (DaISS)

The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide) provides evidence-based recommendations about what works to improve public health and assists public health audiences with choosing programs and policies to improve health and prevent disease in their communities. Increasing pressures for public health decision makers to use evidence-based strategies underscore the need for The Community Guide team to find improved ways to disseminate recommendations of the Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force), to help decision makers implement strategies that best meet their individual needs and preferences, and to better understand how audiences use the recommendations. To address these needs, CDC’s Community Guide Program is developing a decision and implementation support system (“DaISS”).  The DaISS is being built to address the following goals and objectives:

  • Enable timely identification of evidence-based strategies relevant to user needs
  • Provide personalized evidence-based information based on user roles and interests
  • Disseminate evidence-based strategies more widely to public health audiences
  • Promote collaboration among decision makers in the application of evidence-based information
  • Facilitate connections that lead to meaningful partnerships for public health practice
  • Foster dialogue about how evidence-based strategies are implemented in ‘real-world’ settings
  • Support open information exchange with various healthcare and public organizations

 

The DaISS does this through a simple but secure interface that will be accessible across various platforms, by providing smart search capabilities, and by offering personalized dynamic content and decision support to its users. The DaISS will also connect its users and allow them to collaborate with one another while respecting their privacy preferences. FY13 work included an extensive needs assessment, an environmental scan of available tools, and development and usability testing of a prototype.  Build out of the first dimension of the DaISS is occurring in FY14.

The prototype provided proof of concept that the system will be able to utilize APIs to incorporate data from other public health-related sources to enhance the customizable experience, which is a key component of the system as meaningful use and open data become key players in the health space. For example, the DaISS can use geography-related health data to customize users’ suggested content based on public health issues in that location. The DaISS will be interoperable with relevant HHS websites and initiatives including the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s Healthy People 2020, the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/NCI’s Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T., etc.  

The DaISS is being built using a combination of open source tools including Drupal and Apache Solr; Drupal is increasingly being used by government agencies for content management.  Additionally, the DaISS is being architected in such a way that it can be transitioned to the Cloud at a future date.

The Community Guide is implementing the DaISS in a phased approach across three dimensions, which provides for incremental enhancements with each phase:

  • Dimension I – Represents the core functionality of the system (e.g. Dynamic and customized content)
  • Dimension II – Incorporates additional functionality to support user collaboration (e.g. User generated content)
  • Dimension III – Integrates sophisticated connectivity features (e.g. Integration with external systems)
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