DHS - Office of Health Informatics
The Office of Health Informatics (OHI) was established as part of the Division of Public Health (DPH) to be a direct resource for the State Health Officer.
OHI’s primary responsibilities include:
- Collect, register, preserve, amend, certify, and provide vital records data, which include birth, death, fetal death, marriage, divorce, and termination of domestic partnership.
- Collect, analyze, manage, protect, and disseminate health care and population health data for our partners and other data users, in support of programs and services improving the health and lives of Wisconsin’s residents.
- Integrate and manage major public health-related information and data systems so that data can be quickly and securely retrieved, analyzed, and shared.
OHI has key relationships with other entities across DHS and other state agencies, local health departments, universities, health care providers, and federal public health agencies. The Office includes four sections: State Registrar/Vital Records, Health Analytics, Data Operations and Technology, and Public Health Systems.
- The State Registrar/Vital Records Section carries out state vital statistics functions as established in Wis. Stat. ch. 69. Vital Records is responsible for the filing, registration, collection, preservation, amendment, and certification of vital records, which include birth, death, fetal death, marriage, divorce, and termination of domestic partnership. Vital records data are critical to various state and federal agencies and establish identity for legal and administrative purposes, determine eligibility requirements, reduce potential fraud, and provide population-based evidence that identify health and social issues.
- The Health Analytics Section provides analysis and visualizations of health data, including linked databases and reports, based on its data collection systems and other data sources. The Section maintains the Wisconsin Cancer Reporting System and the Organ and Tissue Donation Program and conducts two population surveys (Behavioral Risk Factor Survey, Family Health Survey). The Section provides demographic data, data on hospital inpatient and emergency department visits, and data from the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to the Department of Health Services for epidemiological and administrative use. Additionally, the Health Analytics Section oversees WISH, a Web-based interactive query system providing local and statewide health information.
- The Data Operations and Technology Section oversees multiple data operations in OHI and supports activities related to DPH network management, software development and implementation, business intelligence, and daily systems operations. Specifically, it supports several data collection systems, creates new applications supporting DPH initiatives, links and shares information with numerous clients, and maintains a data warehouse of DPH data. This Section also includes the Data Management Unit which facilitates data management and data governance initiatives for the Division of Public Health. The DMU staffs the Data Management Advisory Team and the Data Governance Board and oversees the Data Resource Center (DRC), the hub of data access activities.
- The Public Health Systems Section manages several large-scale public health systems at DHS, including the Syndromic Surveillance System (SyS) and the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System (WEDSS) which are both relied upon and heavily utilized during public health emergencies. This Section also manages and supports COVID Connect, the electronic registration and results delivery software, for much of the state-funded community and K-12 COVID-19 testing. Staff provide ongoing technical support to testers, site administrators, and patients, and provide data and analysis to support operations and strategic decision-making in the COVID-19 testing space. This Section also manages the Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR), responsible for technical support and data quality of the system. Customers supported by the WIR include health systems, HMOs, local and tribal health departments, and internal partners across DPH and Medicaid Services.