Evolving the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emergency response

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the nation’s leading science-based, data-driven, service organization protecting public health. For more than 70 years, the CDC has put science into action to help families, businesses, and communities fight disease in all its forms. Without question, the COVID-19 pandemic upended daily life in the United States and required unprecedented response efforts during a time of uncertainty at the organization and for the nation.

Since 2012, Maximus has been providing integrated, responsive information management support services for the CDC’s Division of Viral Diseases (DVD) at the National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). As public health departments required additional backup and health experts to develop program resources and materials for the required response, the CDC called on Maximus to support the epidemiology task force.

 

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Challenge

During the pandemic, Acute Respiratory Illness (ARI) became one of the many critical focuses of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC)’s New Vaccine Surveillance Network (NVSN) projects. While ARI was expanded to meet the EOC’s main objectives, NVSN became the top priority project of DVD. With increasing demands redirecting resources to support the NVSN, the CDC needed additional team members who were extremely flexible, willing to take initiative and respond to the needs of a diverse set of stakeholders within and outside the CDC. Additionally, epidemiology task force groups faced adverse operation reliability issues with the Enterprise Laboratory Information Management System (ELIMS), such as the inability to rapidly match patient IDs with lab specimen IDs within the system.

Approach

Maximus was able to provide the CDC NCIRD an integrated, efficient, and cost-effective suite of information management support services that met all the agency’s technical and security standards. Data management, data quality support, statistical analysis, survey design and analysis, scientific information and applications programming support were delivered, all within the NCIRD requirements for a scientific setting.

To the project, Maximus brought extensive information technology services, research expertise and modernization experience that allowed the CDC NCIRD to:

  • Resolve Patient Under Investigation (PUI) and lab specimen data matches ensuring critical and timely accuracy.
  • Understand and provide recommendations for reducing COVID-19 transmission in schools.
  • Clean and analyze international cohort data and technical support resulting in actionable response recommendations.
  • Manage DVD inquires linking members of the public, epidemiologists at the state level and healthcare providers with subject matter experts.

The Maximus approach was successful due not only to the established level and length of trust with the CDC Information Management Service (CIMS) but also our ability to bring innovative and transformative solutions to the organization during a time of monumental change resulting from a public health crisis.

Results

The team was recognized by the Respiratory Virus Branch’s Outbreak, Response, and Prevention team for going above and beyond the call of duty. Our staff resource provided uninterrupted, steadfast analytic and staffing support, responding to respiratory virus inquiries during CDC’s Division of Viral Disease (DVD) branch uncertainty and transition. While many staff were diverted to the COVID-19 response, our team was able to effectively execute Outbreak, Response, and Prevention (ORP) duties and responsibilities maintain ORP services on incoming inquiries. Without this action, there would have been a gap in technical expertise that would have resulted in increased morbidity and mortality. In addition to contributions to critical public health pandemic community publications, the Maximus team provided key data reports for the New Vaccine Surveillance Network (NVSN) to assist the CDC in the development of a contract-tracing strategy.

With the delivery of thorough project plans, a comprehensive data clean-up program, an ARI data- verification processes, efficient data management procedures with reports and data outcomes presented in an actionable format for agency leadership, the Maximus team provided the technical expertise, exceptional support levels and industry leading solutions that directly resulted in a reduced morbidity and mortality rate. Our partnership approach continually demonstrates our laser focus on federal agencies needs as an extension of the important people we serve and the impact we have on their lives.

  • Services provided
    • Data Management/Data Quality Support
    • Statistical Analysis
    • Survey Design and Analysis
    • Scientific Information Support
    • Applications Programming Support
  • Success achieved
    • State lab results data matching allowing for critical daily Covid 19 testing results
    • Cleaned data provided to 7 NVSN sites for completion of analysis
    • Critical contribution to public health community publication
    • Infection data provided key knowledge to reduce transmission rates in US schools