The Office of Health Informatics in the Wisconsin Department of Health Services has a primary responsibility to collect, maintain and provide vital records for the citizens of the state; to collect, protect, disseminate and analyze health care and population-based health data needed to conduct critical state business; and to integrate and manage major public health-related information systems.

The Office of Health Informatics has key relationships with other entities in the department, local health departments, universities, health care providers and federal public health agencies. The office includes three sections: state registrar/vital records, health analytics and informatics architecture.

State registrar/vital records

The state registrar/vital records section carries out state vital statistics functions as established in Wisconsin Statutes.

Health analytics

The health analytics section provides analysis 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 (cancer registry), the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) and the Wisconsin Violent Death Reporting System. It also conducts two population surveys, the Behavioral Risk Factor Survey and the Family Health Survey.

The section provides demographic data and constructs population estimates. The section also provides data on health care providers and health care services to the department for epidemiological and administrative use. The section develops and maintains WISH, a web-based interactive query system providing local and statewide health information.

Informatics architecture

The Public Health Information Network (PHIN) coordinator/informatics architecture section focuses on integrating information contributed by the public health community and its partners so that it can be appropriately and quickly retrieved, analyzed, and shared. The Public Health Information Network will support the entire spectrum of public health activities in the state through disease detection and monitoring, data analysis, secure network communications, emergency alert and response, and knowledge management.

Chief medical officer

The chief medical officer for the office is responsible for helping define the use of clinical data to promote the improvement of public health in Wisconsin. The chief medical officer works in conjunction with other chief medical officers in the Division of Public Health to focus the analytics and data needs from a clinical perspective.