Department of Population Medicine


ESPnet is made up of two component software applications: ESP and PopMedNet. Please follow the links to learn more about each.

ESPnet extracts and analyzes data from EHR systems making it available for querying by authorized Department of Public Health users through PopMedNet software.  ESPnet integrates surveillance results from distributed ESPnet installations and facilities custom queries from health department officials to run in parallel on distributed ESPnet systems. Hospitals and clinics can give health departments controlled access to their EHR data to study specific health indicators in their patient population and health departments can easily query EHR systems of multiple providers at once to get a population view of health indicators. Hospitals and clinics retain full control over their data at all times: ESPnet runs behind the host practice’s firewall and only permits external users to run analyses and/or retrieve data that have been pre-approved by the hospital or clinic.


1.User creates and submits query
2. Data partners retrieve query
3. Data partners review and run query against ESP tables
4. Data partners review results
5. Data partners return results via secure network
6. Results are aggregated and returned to the requestor


The first project to fully harness the power of ESPnet is MDPHnet which includes ESPnet installations at Atrius Health and the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers (MLCHC). We are using two diseases as proof of principle of the power of MDPHnet: Influenza-like illness and diabetes. Our mission is to:

  • Improve surveillance and event reporting to MDPH and thus improve reporting efficiencies at MDPH, Atrius and MLCHC
  • Improve collaboration with provider groups through quality improvement and improved event reporting
  • Identify gaps in surveillance and reporting practices
  • Strengthen population health management
  • Develop more efficient and analytic approach to use of clinical data through the use MDPHnet data
  • Explore research opportunities through use of these data
  • Strengthen relationship with community members by providing better service through the use of MDPHnet data