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Kentucky's EPHT FAQs


What is Environmental Public Health Tracking?

Environmental public health tracking (sometimes known as EPHT or Tracking) is the ongoing collection, integration, analysis, and interpretation of data about environmental hazards, exposure to environmental hazards, and adverse health outcomes potentially related to exposure to environmental hazards. The goal of environmental public health tracking is to protect the health of communities by providing information to citizens, and federal, state, and local agencies for use in planning and evaluating public health and environmental actions. Return to top of page

What is an indicator?

An indicator is a fact or trend that indicates the level or condition of something. Well known indicators include gross national product, unemployment rates, and presidential approval ratings. In a public health context, indicators show trends like cancer rates, drinking water contamination levels, and blood lead levels in children. When an indicator has several parts that combine to indicate the status of the concept being measured, the individual items are called "measures." Return to top of page

What types of data and information are available on this web site?

EnviroHealthLink (EHL) makes data available through queryable datasets. That means that the users is able to interact with the query system to customize the data they would like to explore. We are also working to create community based indicator reports so that users can view a number of indicators for a specific community. Return to top of page

How are indicator data organized?

Indicator data on EHL are organized into three categories: health, environment, and community. To explore background information and resources for these topics, select the topic from the top navigation bar. These categories are also subdivided into topic areas. Data can be accessed through exploring these content pages or directly, by selecting Data Portal on the upper navigation bar. Return to top of page

Can I go directly to the data?

You can access data queries by going to the Datasets Index under the "Data Portal" tab. Queryable dataset are located on the Public Query Dataset Index under the "Data Portal" tab. Dataset Queries can also be accessed by from a specific topics content page under the "Health" or "Environment" tabs. Return to top of page

What are custom queries?

Custom queries allow users to work directly with datasets. A query provides search parameters that the user must fill in according to what data the user wants. After the search parameters are entered, click Submit and the system will provide the requested data. Datasets are located on the Dataset Index Page under the "Data Portal" tab. Return to top of page

Why are some data only presented on a county versus municipal level?

Sometimes, when the number of cases of a health condition is small and the total number of people from which the case(s) come is small, those particular data cannot be made public since it could be possible to trace the data back to individuals. Since the risk for a breach of confidentiality is higher when reporting small numbers, some health data are "suppressed" or "restricted." Return to top of page

What if I can't find the data I need?

If you have an interest in particular data, please see the Contact Us page. We continue to add information, and keep records of requests which will help determine data and indicator priorities for the future. Return to top of page

How do I request access to more data than are available through this web site?

Requests for secure (non-public) data sets can be made to the Kentucky EPHT Program at the Kentucky Department for Public Health. These requests will be forwarded to the appropriate data steward who is responsible for the original data and its distribution. The data steward has the ultimate authority over the data and will make a determination if the person or organization requesting additional data meets statutory or departmental criteria for obtaining non-public data. Return to top of page

Are other states participating in the EPHT Network?

In addition to Kentucky, 25 states and 1 city participate in the CDC-funded Tracking network. To see the other states participating in the tracking network go to the State and Local Tracking Programs page. Return to top of page

How do I access data available in other states?

You can access EPHT-related data from other states from their individual websites (State Tracking Networks) or the National Portal as well (National EPHT Tracking Network). Return to top of page

How do I access data available on the National network?

National tracking data can be accessed on the CDC's National EPHT Network website. Click on "Explore Our New Data Query Tool" to submit a custom query or choose a topic: environments, health effects, population health, or info by location. Return to top of page

How do data on Kentucky's web site differ from CDC's National site?

Both the Kentucky Tracking portal and the National portal allow you to access and visualize data sets. The National portal presents datasets that have been processed according to standardized guidelines which allow for national comparisons (such as state-to-state comparisons). On the other hand, the Kentucky portal contains datasets that were contributed to the National portal. However, the Kentucky portal provides additional datasets and information that is specific to Kentucky's environmental and public health needs. Return to top of page

What is a local health department?

Local health departments provide many essential health services including disease outbreak investigations, regulation of known sources of health hazards such as food establishments, and health education and prevention services such as immunizations and preventive health screenings. Return to top of page

Content updated: Mon, 22 Jan 2018 12:59:49 EST