MN Common Ground Project

Common Ground: Transforming Public Health Information Systems
A National Program supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Common Ground aims to change how public health information systems are conceived and developed by:

  • helping agencies develop new information system requirements that are more effective and that streamline the delivery of essential public health services; and
  • minimizing duplicative efforts by identifying common business processes and information system requirements that are applicable across the pubic health field.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has received a three-year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to participate with other local and state health departments in the Common Ground program. MDH will be working collaboratively with nine other states in the focus area of Chronic Disease to define a standard set of information system requirements through a process called Collaborative Requirements Development, which includes Business Process Analysis and Business Process Redesign. Training and technical assistance will be provided by the Public Health Informatics Institute.

Additional Information

Common Ground Overview (pdf 45Kb/2 pgs)
The Business of Public Health (pdf 47Kb/2 pgs)
Collaborative Requirements Development (pdf 47Kb/2 pgs)

National Resources

  • Public Health Informatics Institute (PHII)
    The Public Health Informatics Institute is the National Program Office for the Common Ground grant program. Their website offers resources in public health informatics.
  • Common Ground Program Website
    This is the official website for the Common Ground grant program.
  • Taking Care of Business Report
    This report describes the business process analysis methodology and resulting work products from a collaborative effort by local public health agencies.
    (pdf 1431Kb/84 pgs)
  • Collaborative Requirements Development in Public Health Labs
    This report documents the final work product from a collaborative requirements development project by public health laboratories.

Contact us
For more information on the Common Ground program and collaborative requirements development, visit the website at or contact the following Minnesota Department of Health staff:

Bill Brand
Center for Health Informatics
Jennifer Ellsworth
Health Promotion and Chronic Disease


Link to Adobe Acrobat Reader To view the PDF files, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader (free download from Adobe's website).

Updated Thursday, September 17, 2015 at 11:34AM