This post was written by Paul Sheives.

FDA is holding its third annual public workshop on the Sentinel Initiative on January 12, 2011. The Sentinel Initiative involves a national electronic health information surveillance system to track the performance and safety of medical products once they are on the market. The Sentinel System will be created through public-private partnerships and will capitalize on existing large electronic claims and medical records data sources maintained by private and government entities that agree to participate in this nationwide effort. This meeting will focus on a variety of topics in active medical product surveillance, including an update on Mini-Sentinel and related activities, near-term plans for FDA’s Sentinel Initiative, and opportunities for coordination with other HHS efforts that use distributed systems of automated health care data.