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databases, data display, information systems, integrated advanced information management systems, online systems, public health informatics, Web-based data query systems



  1. Cohen, Bruce B. PhD
  2. Franklin, Saul MS
  3. West, James K. PhD


The Massachusetts Community Health Information Profile (MassCHIP) has many distinctive features. These features evolved to maximize the usefulness of this query system for a broad group of users with varied needs, differing levels of knowledge about public health, and diverse experience using public health data. Three major features of MassCHIP help target our large user population. These features are as follows: (1) multiple avenues of entry to initiate queries ranging from an alphabetical list of simple topics to detailed International Classification of Disease codes; (2) the inclusion of data sets from other state agencies in addition to those of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to reflect a broad view of public health; and (3) the capacity to retrieve data for multiple levels of geography, from the neighborhood through the state, including planning districts and hospitals. In this article, we discuss the history and design of MassCHIP, and focus on the features of MassCHIP that target a great variety of user needs and capabilities, and which are distinctive among Web-based data query systems.*