CDC has been developing a strategy to address the problem of inadequate capability and commitment of the public health and private clinical laboratories to implement and maintain a timely and comprehensive process for testing, referring, reporting, and alerting with respect to public health problems. The real threat of bioterrorism in the United States has increased the urgency for addressing this problem. CDC working in collaboration with the Association of Public Health Laboratories to institutionalize across the states a set of elements that will constitute a National Laboratory System (NLS) that will be the foundation for rapid, accurate, and effective response to a bioterrorism incident or outbreak of an infectious disease anywhere in the nation. To date, there are four funded demonstration projects in Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and Washington. This is a formative evaluation of the current state of the process that demonstration sites have been undertaking to bring about to expand NLS into all the states. Case studies will be conducted in order to obtain insights into the challenges, barriers and successes experienced by each of the demonstration projects. The information will help CDC determine the feasibility of and barriers to creating a better more standardized integration of public health and private clinical laboratories with respect to exchange of information critical to the protection of public health. Recommendations will be made as to how to most expeditiously expand the NLS to all States.
PIC ID: 7876; Agency Sponsor: CDC, Centers for Disease Control; Federal Contact: Rosner, Eunice, 770-488-4129; Performer: Battelle Memorial Institute, MD, VA