Oregon Public Health Epidemiology User System (Orpheus)

Client Description
Oregon Health Authority is the state agency that works with county health departments, doctors and laboratories to track and reduce the spread of 75 infectious diseases including: Salmonella, Hepatitis, Tuberculosis, HIV, Pertussis and Rabies. Before this project started, most counties were using paper forms and faxing them to the state. Each department at the state was using a separate database. There were no controls for patient duplication, and data did not flow back down to the local health departments.

Scope of Work

  • Create centralized system for secure real-time access for 350 users at state and county level
  • Database needed to be equally easy and fast for local and state users
  • Extremely high HIPPA-compliant security: user would never see identified patient data accidentally
  • Replace functionality of 6 separate databases and paper forms


  • First version was online after 6 months of development
  • System has been greatly expanded over the last 6 years, replacing numerous separate databases


  • Directly involve local and state health department staff in all stages of development
  • Discover the overarching needs from all facets of the project, and work in tandem with our clients to ensure what they need/what is what we deliver


  • Orpheus provides instantaneous communications between state and county public health professionals while complying with the highest levels of security and confidentiality
  • The system had transformed the way the state gathers information
  • This long-term effort to convert all forms of communication and reporting into electronic data that can be accepted, routed and processed through Orpheus has had an overwhelmingly positive impact in the Public Heath Disease Surveillance programs and, therefore, the health of Oregon's population.


Referral Contact:
Stephen G. Ladd-Wilson

Surveillance Manager
Acute and Communicable Disease Prevention
Office of Disease Prevention & Epidemiology
Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division
800 NE Oregon Street, Suite 772
Portland, OR 97232