An open source inventory to evaluate public health surveillance systems

A variety of government reports have cited challenges in coordinating national biosurveillance efforts at strategic and tactical levels. The General Accountability Office (GAO), an independent nonpartisan agency that investigates how the federal government funding and performs analysis at the request of congressional committees or by public mandate, has published 64 reports on biosurveillance since 2005.

July 10, 2017

Rapidly Adapting Flexible Surveillance Systems for Emergent Event Response

Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) epidemiologists have responded to multiple emergent outbreaks with diverse surveillance needs. During the 2009 H1N1 influenza response, it was necessary to electronically integrate multiple reporting sources and view population-level data, while during the 2014–2015 West African Ebola epidemic, it was necessary to easily collect and view individual level data from travelers to facilitate early detection of potential imported Ebola disease.

August 03, 2017

Syndromic surveillance and UEFA Euro 2016 in France – Health impact assessment

France hosted 2016 UEFA European Football Championship between June 10 and July 10. In the particular context of several terrorist attacks occurring in France in 2015 [1], the French national public health agency « Santé publique France » (formerly French Institute for Public Health Surveillance-InVS) was mandated by the Ministry of Health to reinforce health population surveillance systems during the UEFA 2016 period. Six French regions and 10 main stadiums hosted 51 matches and several official and nonofficial dedicated Fan Zones were implemented in many cities across national territory.

August 20, 2017

Analysis of Daily Enhanced Syndromic Surveillance in Hillsborough County, FL, 2015

The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County (FDOH- Hillsborough) conducts enhanced syndromic surveillance on a daily basis. The Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics in Florida (ESSENCE-FL) is the syndromic surveillance system used by epidemiologists within the Florida Department of Health (FDOH). During the time of this study, ESSENCE-FL receives data from 210 of emergency departments (ED) and 33 urgent care centers (UCC) throughout the state of Florida, including 12 EDs and 3 UCCs in Hillsborough County.

July 11, 2017

Real-time surveillance and response system for Ebola and other emerging infections

Improving surveillance and response is a critical component of the Global Health Security Agenda. While it is impossible to predict where the next Ebola outbreak will occur, it is very likely that another outbreak will occur in the DRC. Of the 20 known outbreaks, 7 have occurred in the DRC, one as recently as 2014. To rapidly detect and respond to an Ebola outbreak, we sought to develop a real-time surveillance and response system for use in DRC and similar settings.

August 03, 2017

“That was then, this is now” improving public health syndromic surveillance baselines

Syndromic surveillance systems are used by Public Health England (PHE) to detect changes in health care activity that are indicative of potential threats to public health. By providing early warning and situational awareness, these systems play a key role in supporting infectious disease surveillance programmes, decision making and supporting public health interventions. In order to improve the identification of unusual activity, we created new baselines to model seasonally expected activity in the absence of outbreaks or other incidents.

August 20, 2017

Lead Poisoning Surveillance: A Collaborative Effort between Epidemiology and WIC

There is no safe level of lead in the body, and elevated lead in children can lead to decreased Intelligence Quotients (IQ) and behavioral problems. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends lead testing of children with a positive risk assessment. Children who live in low socioeconomic areas may be at higher risk for lead exposure. As recent events have shown, having an elevated lead poisoning surveillance system can be critical to ensure that there is not a community-wide lead exposure.

July 12, 2017

The test-negative design for estimating influenza vaccination effectiveness

The test-negative design is a variation of the case-control study, in which patients are enrolled in outpatient clinics (and/or hospitals) based on a clinical case definition such as influenza-like illness (ILI). Patients are then tested for influenza virus, and VE is estimated from the odds ratio comparing the odds of vaccination among patients testing positive for influenza versus those testing negative, adjusting for potential confounding factors. The design leverages existing disease surveillance networks and as a result, studies using it are increasingly being reported.

August 20, 2017

NBS: A Community-Based Approach to Developing an Integrated Surveillance System

The NEDSS Base System (NBS) is a web-based, standards- driven, integrated disease surveillance system launched in 2001 and is currently in use in twenty-two public health jurisdictions. Over the past fifteen years, the NBS has grown into a highly functional, modern application that supports: case management, electronic data exchange, metadata-driven data collection, workflow decision support, and a host of other functionalities, all of which are defined and designed through a community-based approach. 


July 17, 2017


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