Communities of Practice: Advancing the Practice of Surveillance

These slides were presented as a 60 minute oral presentation at the 2018 Public Health Informatics Conference in Atlanta Georgia.

Learning Objective

To share our experiences at ISDS with setting up and managing communities of practice, with the focus specifically on the National Syndromic Surveillance Program Community of Practice. 

March 27, 2019

Updates to the HL7 2.5.1 Implementation Guide for Syndromic Surveillance

In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the PHIN Messaging Guide for Syndromic Surveillance v. 1. In the intervening years, new technological advancements including Electronic Health Record capabilities, as well as new epidemiological and Meaningful Use requirements have led to the periodic updating and revision of the Message Guide. These updates occurred through informal and semi-structured solicitation and in response to comments from across public health, governmental, academic, and EHR vendor stakeholders.

June 18, 2019

HL7 balloting process for the Implementation Guide for Syndromic Surveillance

Syndromic surveillance seeks to systematically leverage health-related data in near "real-time" to understand the health of communities at the local, state, and federal level. The product of this process provides statistical insight on disease trends and healthcare utilization behaviors at the community level which can be used to support essential surveillance functions in governmental public health authorities (PHAs).

January 25, 2018

Review of the 2016 ISDS Annual Conference: Continuing the Momentum

ISDS is kicking off the year with a webinar to review highlights from the 2016 Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA. If you attended the conference, we invite you to come share and learn more about initiatives sprung from the conference, and to discuss how best to continue moving them ahead. If you were unable to attend the conference, please join us to hear from our Conference Chairs about session highlights and key takeaways. We will also be discussing post-conference evaluation findings and informally collecting feedback for next year's conference.


March 15, 2017

Using a real time syndromic surveillance system to track heat related illnesses during a heat wave

In 2004, the Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD), which serves a county population over 890,000, began using a real time syndromic surveillance system, ESSENCE (Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics) to assist in detecting possible disease outbreaks. Today, about 1600 emergency department visits occur daily in Marion County's 14 emergency departments. Epidemiologists from MCPHD have contributed to the city's Extreme Temperature plans for the last few years.

May 02, 2019

Patient Management System Programmed Alert to Notify Providers of Suspected TB Cases

An increase in tuberculosis (TB) among homeless men residing in Marion County, Indiana was noticed in the summer of 2008. The Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD) hosted screening events at homeless shelters in hopes of finding unidentified cases. To locate men who had a presumptive positive screen, the MCPHD partnered with researchers at Regenstrief Institute (RI) to create an alert for health care providers who use the Gopher patient management system in one of the city's busiest emergency departments.

May 02, 2019

Utilizing Emergency Department Data to Evaluate Primary Care Clinic Hours

In addition to utilizing syndromic surveillance data to respond to public health threats and prepare for major incidents, local health departments can utilize the data to examine patient volumes in the emergency departments (EDs) of local hospitals. The information obtained may be valuable to hospital and clinic administrators who are charged with allocating resources. 

July 30, 2018

Super Bowl Surveillance: A Practical Exercise in Inter-Jurisdictional Public Health Information Sharing

When the Chicago Bears met the Indianapolis Colts for Super Bowl XLI in Miami in January, 2007, fans from multiple regions visited South Florida for the game. In the past, public health departments have instituted heightened local surveillance during mass gatherings due to concerns about increased risk of disease outbreaks. For the first time, in 2007, health departments in all three Super Bowl-related regions already practiced daily disease surveillance using biosurveillance information systems (separate installations of the ESSENCE system, developed at JHUAPL).

July 30, 2018

Increasing the Return-on-Investment from Syndromic Surveillance: Putting the Systems to Work for Routine Local Health Department Activities

Since October 2004, the Indiana State Health Department and the Marion County Health Department have been developing and using a syndromic surveillance system based on emergency department admission data. The system currently receives standards-based HL7 emergency department visit data, including free-text chief complaints from 72 hospitals throughout the state. Fourteen of these hospitals are in Marion County, which serves the Indianapolis metropolitan region (population 865,000).



July 30, 2018

Operational Considerations and Early Successes with a Statewide Public Health Surveillance System

In 2004, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) partnered with the Regenstrief Institute to begin collecting syndromic data from 14 ED’s to monitor bioterrorism-related events and other public health emergencies. Today, Indiana’s public health emergency surveillance system (PHESS) receives approximately 5,000 daily ED visits as real-time HL7 formatted surveillance data from 55 hospitals.

July 30, 2018

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