The Environmental Health Division of the Henry County Health Department is planning to implement asecure, web-based Environmental Health Food Safety Inspection system that will allow inspectors toeasily document, electronically digitalize, and upload the entire inspection including comments, fullattachments such as digital photos into the system in real time. It will allow proper tracking of theuploaded data, and creating reports for analysis to be utilized for making decisions and public healthinterventions. Finally, in addition to being environmentally friendly, it will enable public access to viewfood inspections reports in a timely manner.The objectives are to (1) allow us to move away from information being stored and filed in cabinets or inseparate data bases and spread sheets where it is time consuming to assimilate and analyze, (2)improve communication between environmental inspectors and clinical services (communicable diseaseprogram) during food borne illness investigation or complaints, (3) better manage and follow through withcomplaints/request for service, (4) track and report cash/accounting, billing/annual renewals, (5) providetimely statistical reports, (6) save our staff time, (7) invariably improve staff production, and (8) reduceuse of paper and move towards an eco-friendly environment.Our principal approach is to purchase a proven existing system where the software and the supportservices has already being tested and used by other local health departments to meet local healthprotection requirements and is also compliant with the food service sanitation code. In addition, it shouldbe able to provide high levels of service and safety at a low cost. This in turn will provide efficiencies thatwill allow the agency to cut unnecessary overhead and other expenditures to sustain this system.Since 36% of the Henry County population falls within the 'Highly Susceptible Population' as defined inthe FDA code and the Illinois Food code, it is significant that we are pro-active in our food program toinclude risk based inspections (which we have already implemented) and timely enforcement proceduresfor violations that result in unacceptable risk to the public. This electronic data system will also give usthe opportunity to work closely with the various food service managers in implementing effectivecorrective standard operating procedures that best fits their food service operations.Overall this project will be beneficial not only to provide the ten essential environmental public healthservices such as monitoring and diagnosing the problems of a food service operation, it will also allow usto evaluate the effectiveness of our program, together with fulfilling our mission which is to 'Protect andimprove the health of the community'.

Public Health Relevance

Henry County Health Department (HCHD) is a county-based public health department established in 1966 in Illinois where 36 % of the population is Highly Susceptible Population as defined in FDA code. To effectively and efficiently fulfill our mission which is To protect and improve the health of the community, we will be implementing an electronic web based Environmental Food Safety Risk Based Inspection System. This system will allow us to be proactive and prevent and/or reduce the risks of food borne illnesses in our community in a timely manner.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Research Demonstration--Cooperative Agreements (U18)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZFD1-SRC (99))
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Henry County Health Department
United States
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