b'CARES 2023 Annual ReportModernization of the Software PlatformThrough the CDC CARES Expansion and Modernization Grant, CARES is developing our Next Generation (NextGen) software platform. The current CARES application was modeled on an existing EMS data collection platform in 2005. Atlanta, Georgia was the first community to begin data collection with nearly 600 cases captured that first year. At present, CARES captures the same number of cases daily. The current CARES application has incurred significant technical debt over the years due to being limited to the overall design, functionality, and programming code of the template platform. CARES recognizes the essential need to modernize its software architecture, technology integrations, and platform design with the greater goal of supporting national expansion. These needs will be met with a new CARES platform that strategically plans for scalability and includes improved data management tools and enhanced solutions for data visualization. The NextGen Project will consist of five phases:To actualize and carry out the redesign of the modernized software platform, CARES has expanded its agile technical team with members who have expertise in user experience, graphic design, data science, quality assurance, and modern development. This diverse team approach will allow the NextGen CARES platform to optimize data usage, encourage positive trends in state expansion, promote data management deployments, and enhance reports for quality improvement & data visualization. NextGen CARES will support robust and streamlined multi-audience infrastructure, design, and user functionality for State, EMS, hospital, dispatch, ePCR vendor, and QI end users. As part of improving the end user experience, the setup of electronic Patient Care Record (ePCR) upload through Automated Programming Interface (API) integrations will increase efficiencies in the onboarding process and streamline hospital data collection, thereby increasing the number of agencies and hospitals that can participate in CARES. States, EMS agencies, and hospitals will be able to collect novel supplemental data elements of interest to address local health disparities and concerns.22 23'