Washington State Department of Health, as one of the leading innovators in digital applications for improving public health, has been recognized as a 2023 HIMSS Public Health Davies Award recipient.
Washington State Department of Health, in partnership with the University of Washington, Apple, Google, Microsoft and Microsoft Research, the Brotman Baty Institute, Amazon Web Services, MITRE, the Association of Public Health Laboratories, the Internet Security Research Group, the National Institutes of Health, and the Linux Foundation, implemented “WA Notify,” a novel, privacy-preserving, exposure notification tool created to complement traditional contract tracing processes. From the launch of WA Notify to the case study submission to HIMSS for Davies consideration, more than 225,000 people who tested positive for COVID-19 used WA Notify to anonymously notify contacts of potential exposure. The model of collaboration to develop, implement, and promote utilization of the WA Notify tool is an important roadmap for the deployment of digital health tools in public health settings in the future.
“WA Notify was developed by the Washington State Department of Health and partners from the private, public, and academic sectors at the height of the COVID emergency,” said Washington State Secretary of Health, Dr. Umair Shah. “It revolutionized the way people can receive notification of exposure, so they know when to get tested and protect their communities. At DOH we are so proud of this work and how it has so quickly benefited not only Washington state, but also many other states across the nation; we are thrilled to see its future, as well, as we face other public health emergencies. Receiving the HIMSS Davies Public Health Award speaks to the tremendous efforts of those who care about a healthy, equitable public.”
Washington State Department of Health Case Study:
Innovation and Partnership: COVID-19 Exposure Notifications in Washington State
The HIMSS Davies Award for Public Health showcases recipients who leverage the power of information and technology to enhance public health, promote health equity, and provide actionable insights to improve the wellness of the community they serve. Specifically, Davies Award for Public Health case studies reflect the work of public health organizations leveraging information and technology to enhance core public health services (contact tracing, syndromic disease surveillance reporting, electronic case reporting, notifiable disease surveillance, vital records reporting, electronic reportable laboratory results reporting, and immunization registry reporting and queries) and drive faster, more actionable intelligence to improve community health. The Davies Awards program promotes HIMSS’s vision and mission by recognizing and sharing use cases, model practices and lessons learned on how to improve health and wellness through the power of information and technology.
The HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence showcases healthcare organizations that demonstrate globally innovative, thoughtful applications of information and technology to drive and redefine evidence-based best practices so that others can learn, adapt and improve population health and patient outcomes.