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Problem statement
Public health data systems are critical sources of actionable intelligence used by
federal, state, tribal, local, and territorial public health agencies to protect Americans
against infectious and non-infectious health threats. However, the nation’s public health
data systems are antiquated, siloed, chronically underfunded, and rely on older
surveillance methods, leading to delayed detection and response. The COVID-19
pandemic demonstrated a need to significantly improve the collection and use of critical
health data at all levels of government while reducing the burden placed on those who
provide the data. It is critical to recognize that these improvements are not solely
technical upgrades. A unified and comprehensive approach that addresses both
technology and the broader factors impacting public health’s ability to share and use
data – such as policies, interoperability standards, workforce skill development, and
change management – is needed for sustainable, long-term success.
For more than 20 years, CDC and awardees have managed the awardee grant
management process using multiple systems. The use of multiple systems and the risk
of human error have created a need for a single platform that allows for all the data to
be collected into one system and easily compiled into usable data. Reducing the risk of
human error and acting as a cost and time savings measure.


According to CDC’s Data Modernization Initiative (DMI) the nation will move from siloed
and brittle public health data systems to connected, resilient, adaptable, and sustainable
‘response-ready’ systems that can help us solve problems before they happen and
reduce the harm caused by the problems that do happen. International Responder
Systems (IRS) has created the GrantReady platform to interact with and enhance the
public health data system.

GrantReady was developed by a team of former state, local and federal (CDC)
employees to ease the burden of reporting: financial, programmatic and personnel data.
One system gives the user the ability to collect, store, review, edit, approve, and provide
reports to other entities. GrantReady is currently able to meet 3 of the 5 priorities of DMI
with the ability to expand to meet all 5 priorities.


Priority 1: Build the Right Foundation

GrantReady provides a solution to strengthen
and unify critical infrastructure for a response-ready ecosystem by providing a secure
and scalable foundation with appropriate automated data sources to enable timely,
complete data sharing for public health action; break down silos that keep critical data
disconnected; and reduce the burden on STLT partners for collecting and reporting
data. Under this priority GrantReady allows its users to transform legacy systems,
processes, and activities and store, discover, analyze, and visualize data.

Priority 2: Accelerate Data into Action to Improve Decision Making and Protect Health
GrantReady ensures that the users can use data in a faster, more interoperable way
that, in turn, provides high-quality information that provides a more real-time,
comprehensive picture to improve decision-making and protect health. Under this
priority GrantReady can increase interoperability through improved data standards and
increased data linkages.


Priority 4: Support and Extend Partnerships

Grant Ready allows state partners with the ability to better engage with local partners, ensure transparency, quickly address policy challenges, and allow for expedited reviews to solve problems.

GrantReady is a system that currently provides four interconnected modules for grant
success: the Planning Guide; the Work Plan; the Spend Plan; and Reporting. Each of
these modules provides a distinct advantage to the user due to the cost and time
savings associated with the abandonment of individual or multiple spreadsheets and
documents across varying systems.

The Planning Guide provides a customizable template for state users and can easily
integrate with legacy systems. This module allows users to collate data and prioritize
awards and plan for response activities and exercises, adhering to federal guidelines
and meeting federal award criteria.

The Work Plan module allows the user to arrange data by domain, capability, and
function; allowing the user to write, edit, copy, and paste data from any federal
guidance. This feature acts as a time saving feature due to the ease of transferring data
from system to system.

The Spend Plan provides a valuable linkage to the Work Plan and is also customizable.
It includes budgets by budget period and fiscal year. It has an invoicing feature and
allows the viewer to see the progress of funds being spent at each level.
Reporting and analytics are important to any program and GrantReady provides a
solution for Mid-Year, Year End, and real-time reporting. At any moment, the user can
view performance data and link data with legacy systems.


  1. CDC. (2023, March 2). Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program and Guidance.

  2. ‌CDC. Data Modernization Initiative. (2022, April 7).

  3. ‌Pub.L.13 -104th Congress (1995-1996): The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (2020).

  4. CDC. PHEP ORR Reporting and Tracking System (PORTS). (2023, November 17).

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