MERS Syndromic Surveillance Guidance Review

Please join ISDS and CDC for an information webinar related to syndromic surveillance of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the US.On May 2, 2014, the first U.S. imported case of MERS was confirmed in Indiana.  Guidance was recently distributed for users of various syndromic surveillance systems to report conditions related to MERS to the CDC using the template developed (the guidance can be found by scrolling down to the MERS folder at this link).

July 24, 2017

S&I Public Health Reporting Initiative: Improving Standardization of Surveillance

The S&I Framework is an Office of National Coordinator (ONC) initiative designed to support individual working groups who focus on a specific interoperability challenge. One of these working groups within the S&I Framework is the PHRI, which is using the S&I Framework as a platform for a community-led project focused on simplifying public health reporting and ensuring EHR interoperability with public health information systems.

May 25, 2018

An ISDS-Based Initiative for Conventions for Biosurveillance Data Analysis Methods

Twelve years into the 21st century, after publication of hundreds of articles and establishment of numerous biosurveillance systems worldwide, there is no agreement among the disease surveillance community on most effective technical methods for public health data monitoring. Potential utility of such methods includes timely anomaly detection, threat corroboration and characterization, follow-up analysis such as case linkage and contact tracing, and alternative uses such as providing supplementary information to clinicians and policy makers.

January 24, 2018

A systematic approach to building and sustaining a regional and local biosurveillance community of practice

Although the advent of the ONCs "meaningful use" criteria has added significant new incentives for healthcare organizations to provide the necessary data for implementing syndromic surveillance, incentives alone are not sufficient to sustain a robust community of practice that engages public health and healthcare practitioners working together to fully achieve meaningful use objectives. The process for building a successful community of practice around syndromic surveillance is primarily application-agnostic.

May 02, 2019

Technical Challenges from the Public Health Practice Community to Statisticians and Analysts

On May 28th, 2009, the ISDS Research and Public Health Practice Committees hosted a joint panel with the goal of bringing current challenges faced by public health practitioners to the attention of the research community at large. Members of both Committees expressed concern that much current research in disease surveillance has little application for public health practitioners. With an increasing emphasis on health information technology and exchange, public health practitioners need relevant, understandable analytic tools to manage information and make it useful.

October 23, 2017

Resolving the 'Boy Who Cried Wolf' Syndrome

To date, most syndromic surveillance systems rely heavily on complicated statistical algorithms to identify aberrations. The assumption is that when the statistics identify something unusual, follow-up should occur. However, with multiple strata analyzed, small numbers for some strata, and wide variances in daily counts, the statistical algorithms will generate flags too often. Experience has shown that these flags usually have little or no public health significance. As a result, syndromic surveillance systems suffer from the ‘boy who cried wolf’ syndrome.

July 30, 2018


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