Original ArticlePublic Health, Data Standards, and Vocabulary Crucial Infrastructure for Reliable Public Health SurveillanceChute, Christopher G. MD, DrPH; Koo, Denise MD, MPHAuthor Information Professor and Head, Medical Informatics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. (Chute) Associate Director for Science, Epidemiology Program Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia. (Koo) The authors thank Bill Yasnoff, MD, for his leadership in chairing the AMIA 2001 spring meeting, “Developing a National Agenda for Public Health Informatics” (www.amia.org/meetings/spring/f2.html) and encouraging this manuscript. The authors thank Betsy Humphreys of the National Library of Medicine for her considerable contributions to this manuscript and to the vocabulary track planning at the AMIA conference. The authors are grateful to Dr. Daniel Sosin at CDC for helpful advice and critique. Finally, the authors thank the many participants at the conference who contributed importantly to the authors' understanding about the interfaces of terminology, public health, and informatics. This material was developed in the public domain. No copyright applies. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: May 2002 - Volume 8 - Issue 3 - p 11-17 Buy Abstract The present, rapid adoption of electronic records in clinical care is likely to shift public health surveillance from passive, human-mediated abstraction to active, computer-generated reports. However, the accuracy and efficiency of this process depends upon the adoption of consistent information standards from bedside to population and the relevance of these data to public health. This article outlines the current status of data standards of relevance to public health and expands upon the ideal goal state in which health information would be collected once and then reused for multiple health-related purposes, including public health surveillance. © Aspen Publishers, Inc.