Impact of a new diagnoses thesaurus on the French ED syndromic surveillance system


As part of the French syndromic surveillance system SurSaUDî, the French Public Health Agency (Sant© publique France) collects daily data from the emergency department (ED) network OSCOUR®. The system aims to timely identify, follow and assess the health impact of unusual or seasonal events on emergency medical activity. Individual ED data contain demographic (age, gender, residence zip code), administrative (dates of attendances and discharge, ED, etc.) and medical information (chief complaint, main and associated medical diagnoses, severity). Medical diagnoses are encoded using the ICD10 classification. Then syndromic groups are built based on these ICD10 codes for ensuring syndromic surveillance in routine. Even if ICD10 is recommended on the national guidelines for coding ED attendances, this thesaurus offers a too large variety of codes. Particularly, it includes lots of diseases that may never be observed or confirmed in ED. This variety let selection of the appropriate codes difficult for physicians in a reactive use and could discourage them to code diagnoses. In order to encourage appropriate and reactive coding practice, we decided in 2017 to produce a new diagnoses thesaurus with a limited list of ICD10 codes. Then a committee of medical and epidemiological experts was created by the Federation of regional emergency observatories (FedORU), to propose an operational thesaurus that includes relevant codes for both ED in a daily routine practice and syndromic surveillance.

Objective: The study aims to evaluate the potential impact of the revision of the thesaurus used by ED physicians to code medical diagnoses, on the syndromic indicators used daily to achieve the detection objective of the French syndromic surveillance system.

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Original Publication Year: 
Event/Publication Date: 
January, 2019

June 18, 2019

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