You’re a public health administrator or director striving to reach the goals of Public Health 3.0, but did you know you may be missing the most vital tool you need? To accomplish the goals of Public Health 3.0, Healthy People 2030, and position your health department to collect meaningful, relevant data, you need a public health electronic health record (EHR) based on standardized terminology.

Don’t have time to read the full article? Watch our short video to learn what standardized terminology in a public health EHR does for your health department:


How is standardized terminology in the EHR critical to for public health?

Health departments depend on funding, policy, and legislation to do the work that they do. Standardized terminology provides public workers with powerful data to back up the value of their work and prove outcomes so they can obtain funding and have a voice with policymakers and legislators.

Data itself is easy to accrue but ensuring that data is leverageable and meaningful is much harder. Standardized terminology in a public health EHR ensures that data is collected in a meaningful, reportable way.

For a health department, this means it is vital to use a public health EHR designed for your workflows and built to document every piece of data using standardized terminology.

Ensure your data doesn’t die in an EHR data cemetery.

Karen S. Martin, RN, MSN, FAAN, Healthcare Consultant for Martin Associates, member Omaha System Board of Directors put it well when she said, “Having quantitative data demands that huge amounts of data are collected and processed, however that data remains largely in EHR ‘data cemeteries.’ That’s what we’ve really got to get away from. We have to move from collecting data, to using data. We need to convert data to information, knowledge, and wisdom.”

Standardized terminology empowers public health workers to convert data to information, knowledge, and wisdom.

Standardized terminology in EHR: the tool for heroes fighting for health equity.

Public health directors, administrators, and nurses across the country are fighting to achieve health equity in their communities. Whether you’re following the Public Health 3.0 or Healthy People 2030 frameworks or striving to provide the 10 Essential Services, health equity is at the center.

You’re passionate about finding root causes of public health issues and addressing them, advocating for change in policy, and making the case for public health funding. Every hero needs the right tool for the job.

Standardized terminology in an EHR helps you:

  1. Prove your health department’s outcomes and describe the work you’re doing
  2. Easily identify problems needing upstream interventions by documenting determinants of health
  3. Identify areas for improvement, measure progress, and know where resources are most needed
  4. Advocate with funders, legislators, and policymakers armed with real, measurable data that can be pulled out in easy-to-read visual reports.

During the Michigan Premier Public Health Conference in 2017, Karen Monsen, PhD, RN, FAAN, Associate Professor, University of Minnesota School of Nursing and Director of the Omaha System Partnership, spoke on Empowering Local Health Departments to Address Health Equity through standardized terminology, “[Health equity] is the reason behind the work that we do. It’s the reason that we need data. To be able to show ourselves. To be able to make data-driven decisions. But also, to show the outcomes of what we do so that we can continue the work we do.”

Five ways to achieve Public Health 3.0 aims with standardized terminology in EHR:

Public Health 3.0 focuses on five core recommendations for public health: embracing the role of chief health strategist, engaging in cross-sector collaboration, seeking PHAB accreditation, gathering timely, relevant, actionable data, and exploring innovative funding.

Standardized terminology is a tool that empowers you to accomplish all five of these goals:

  1. Embracing the role of chief health strategist: Get proof of your outcomes, trend data, and the ability to evaluate your community and your interventions to make strategic decisions
  2. Engaging in cross-sector collaboration: Gain the crucial ability to share meaningful data as you collaborate with community partners.
  3. Seeking PHAB accreditation: Measure the impact of your work with populations and evaluate health indicators in your community.
  4. Gathering timely, relevant, actionable data: View extract data in a meaningful way, as needed, so that it can be immediately leveraged for planning and strategy.
  5. Exploring innovative funding: Leverage your resources efficiently. Standardized terminology acts as your megaphone as you communicate with legislators, policymakers, and funders. You can prove your community needs and prove your work and outcomes


Standardized terminology is your essential tool as a forward-focused public health worker. It allows you to collect powerful data that is timely, relevant, and actionable and gives you a voice.

Be empowered to participate in cross-sector collaboration as well as perform your role of community health strategist, making effective decisions for your community’s health. Understand how to efficiently and effectively allocate your resources.

Get standardized terminology in a public health EHR tailored to your specific needs:

Champ Software’s EHR is built on the Omaha System standardized terminology. Some EHRs will add an option to collect some data using standardized terminology, but this limits your capability to create meaningful reports on all data. Nightingale Notes can collect every piece of data using standardized terminology.

When you can document every program and intervention using standardized terminology the way Nightingale Notes captures data, you can pull any piece of data back out of the EHR in a report that will prove outcomes. Don’t waste your time or lose your data in an EHR data cemetery!

Champ Software’s public health EHR gives you powerful reports you can show to legislators, policymakers, and funders as well as community stakeholders and community members to prove the work you are doing and effectively communicate why it matters.

Not only that, with over 35 years of experience exclusively serving the public health sector and an EHR designed with input from public health workers across the country, it’s basically the EHR built by public health, for public health.

The first rule of Fight Club no longer applies 

Public health workers have spent decades serving their communities without really being noticed. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, this was evidenced by how quickly misinformation spread. People didn’t really understand what public health did or the role it played.

Since the pandemic, eyes have turned towards public health like never before. This is a unique opportunity for you to advocate for your work. The first rule of Fight Club (you never talk about Fight Club) no longer applies. Talk about what you do! Better yet, show them!

An EHR built on standardized terminology acts as the megaphone you need to communicate what you do and why it matters. Ready to get your megaphone?

Take action now:

Don’t miss this unique window of opportunity. Contact us today to see what Champ Software’s public health EHR with standardized terminology can do for you.