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New Mexico'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?

The New Mexico EPHT Network has data available in two different formats: indicator reports and query datasets. Indicator reports are designed to answer the question "How are we doing?" for a selected health outcome or environmental exposure. Indicator reports include both data and information in a report format to help users understand the topic. Query datasets are available for users who want to work directly with a particular dataset. Users define their custom query settings from a list of options and the website produces the data according to the definitions the user selected. Return to top of page

How are indicator data organized?

Indicator data on the EPHT portal are organized by health outcome or environmental exposure. To access these topics, click on the "Data Portal" tab at the top of the page. After choosing Indicator Reports, choose a topic and click the "+" symbol to reveal more information. Return to top of page

Can I do a search to find out if you have the information I'm looking for?

To find out if the information you are looking for is in the EPHT Network, metadata records have been created to describe what is available in each dataset. Metadata includes information about content, years of coverage, resolution, limitation of use, and contact information. To access the metadata search page, click on the EPHT Metadata Index page under the "Data Portal" tab. Type your search criteria into the search box and a list of metadata records containing the term will be displayed. Click on any of the records to read more about the dataset. Return to top of page

Can I go directly to the data?

You can access Indicator Reports by going to the Indicator Report Index under the "Data Portal" tab. Queryable dataset are located on the Public Query Dataset Index under the "Data Portal" tab. Both Indicator Reports and Dataset Queries can be accessed through any category in the "Data Portal" tab. 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 s/he wants. After the search parameters are entered, click Submit and the system will provide the requested data. A list of the available public datasets is located on the Public Query Dataset Index 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 New Mexico EPHT Network at the New Mexico Department of 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.

Please visit the Contact Us to contact us for more information. Return to top of page

Is there a glossary of terms available?

Yes, a glossary of terms used in describing data, indicators, calculations, government agencies, chemicals, environmental factors, and more is available. To access the glossary, click here. Return to top of page

Are other states participating in the EPHT Network?

In addition to New Mexico, more than 20 states participate in the CDC-funded Tracking network. For a map of project grantees, see the State Tracking Network 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 Tracking Network website. Click on "Explore Tracking Data" 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 New Mexico's web site differ from CDC's National site?

Both the New Mexico 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 New Mexico portal contains datasets that were contributed to the National portal. However, the New Mexico portal provides additional datasets and information that is specific to New Mexico's environmental and public health needs. Return to top of page

What is the New Mexico Department of Health?

New Mexico has a centralized health department system, operated under the State of New Mexico. The Department of Health has several divisions inclusive of the Epidemiology and Response Division, under which the NM EPHT program operates, the Public Health Division, which manages public health offices throughout the state, the Scientific Laboratory, and the Administrative Services Division. Learn more about the State Department of Health at Return to top of page