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George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative


Asthma, Chronic Disease, Health Information Technology, Public Health Surveillance


Childhood asthma is a serious and costly chronic disease that burdens children and families as well as the health care systems that serve them. A key element to improving asthma outcomes is access to timely and useful data that can improve the quality of care and inform programs and policies to best serve those communities most burdened by asthma. This Policy Brief examines the nation’s data collection framework for childhood asthma and considers steps that might be taken to strengthen it, including the development, collection and refinement of community-level data to inform local health care systems. Through a review of the public health surveillance system related to childhood asthma, including a specific look at existing asthma data, this brief lays out the challenges to the current system and identifies opportunities to develop responsive and timely data collection, monitoring and surveillance systems, harnessing health information technology (HIT) applications to address the many challenges of childhood asthma. This brief includes recommendations for improvements in public health reporting systems including standardization of measures and a focus on the development of real-time local surveillance and mapping technologies to best inform communities working to lessen their childhood asthma burden.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Peer Reviewed


Open Access