Montana Department of Health and Human Services Logo Link to Dashboard
Big Sky. New Horizons. A Healthier Montana.

Prevent, Identify and Control Communicable Diseases

The mortality rate for communicable diseases in Montana and the U.S. is dramatically lower now than it was 50 years ago. This is in large part due to improvements in sanitation, hygiene, and immunizations for vaccine preventable diseases. However, recently the high incidence of vaccine preventable diseases, such as pertussis, emphasizes the need for improving our low childhood immunization rates. Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted infection (STI), is the most common reportable infectious disease in Montana, underscoring the need for ongoing STI prevention activities.

  • Increase the proportion of communicable diseases and conditions that are reported to local public health departments from health care providers within 24 hours of identification from 60% to 85% to improve timeliness of identification, control, and treatment
  • Increase the proportion of individuals with reported sexually transmitted infections who are treated within seven days of diagnosis from 82% to 90%
  • Increase the proportion of reported sexually transmitted infection cases with one or more contacts identified from 80% to 90% and the proportion for which at least one contact was contacted from 60% to 70%
  • Increase the proportion of adolescents aged 13-17 years who are fully immunized against Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (TdaP), Meningococcal (MCV4) and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) from 85% (TdaP), 40% (MCV4), and 40% (HPV) to 90%, 60% and 60% respectively7
  • Increase the proportion of all adults immunized against influenza from 34% to 60% and adults age 65 and older immunized against pneumococcal infection from 70% to 80%
  • Increase the proportion of reports of selected enteric pathogens and events (e.g., Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli or enteric outbreaks) for which investigative questionnaires are completed from 60% to 90% and ensure thorough investigations are conducted when appropriate


C1. Public Health Policies

C.1.1 Support worksites and schools to implement health promotion policies that promote communicable disease control and prevention (e.g., child and adult immunization, immunization policies in health care settings, hand washing campaigns)

C.1.2 Maintain and enforce up-to-date communicable disease reporting policies

C.1.3 Create and monitor policies that define medical homes to include childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization requirements

C.1.4 Support health care settings to implement policies encouraging appropriate immunizations for employees and patients

C.1.5 Ensure only valid medical exemptions to Montana immunization polices

C.1.6 Update Administrative Rules of Montana to require vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for children attending child care facilities

C2. Prevention and Health Promotion Efforts

C2.1 Increase awareness of communicable disease prevention and control through public education and in key settings (e.g., child, adolescent, and adult immunization in schools and health care settings, public awareness regarding food safety)

C3. Access to Care, Particularly Clinical Preventative Services

C3.1 Implement quality improvement activities that improve the delivery of clinical preventive services and the use of clinical practice guidelines (e.g., investigation and follow-up, electronic health records, recall/reminder systems)

C.3.2 Use available and emerging technologies to improve the delivery of clinical preventive services (Montana Infectious Disease Information System (MIDIS); Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR), electronic health records, telehealth, Montana immunization information system)

C.3.3 Expand use and documentation of patient-delivered partner therapy

C.3.4 Improve access to child, adolescent, and adult immunization services (e.g., increase the number of providers in the Vaccines for Children Program, expand the number of non-traditional settings)

C4. Montana's Public Health and Health Care System

C4.1 Maintain a 24/7 surveillance system that receives and responds to health problems and threats in a timely manner

C.4.2 Promote communicable disease reporting through timely publication and distribution of reports, summaries, and alerts

C.4.3 Provide training, technical assistance, and resources to health professionals and others to support communicable disease control and prevention

C.4.4 Encourage the integration of DPHHS programs and services to prevent, identify and control communicable disease

C.4.5 Facilitate the achievement of communicable disease prevention and control goals through implementation of health care reform activities

C.4.6 Provide training for school staffs to implement communicable disease prevention and control (e.g., hand washing, recognition and isolation of ill students, policies on ill students and staff)