Using Syndromic Surveillance for All-Hazards Public Health Surveillance: Successes, Challenges, and the Future

Fifteen years have passed since the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 called for the establishment of nationwide surveillance and reporting mechanisms to detect bioterrorism-related events. In the 1990s, several health departments established surveillance systems to detect prediagnostic (ie, before diagnoses are confirmed) signs and symptoms for the early identification of disease occurrences.

August 28, 2017

A practitioner-driven research agenda for syndromic surveillance

To obtain feedback and seek future directions for an ISDS initiative to establish and update research questions in Informatics, Analytics, Communications, and Systems Research with the greatest perceived impact for improving surveillance practice.

June 09, 2017

A Value-Driven Framework For The Evaluation Of Biosurveillance Systems

Evaluation and strengthening of biosurveillance systems is acomplex process that involves sequential decision steps, numerous stakeholders, and requires accommodating multiple and conflicting objectives. Biosurveillance evaluation, the initiating step towards biosurveillance strengthening, is a multi-dimensional decision problem that can be properly addressed via multi-criteria-decision models.Existing evaluation frameworks tend to focus on “hard” technical attributes (e.g. sensitivity) while ignoring other “soft” criteria (e.g. transparency) of difficult measurement and aggregation.

June 20, 2017

Cross-Disciplinary Consultancy to Enhance Predictions of Asthma Exacerbation Risk in Boston

This paper continues an initiative conducted by the International Society for Disease Surveillance with funding from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to connect near-term analytical needs of public health practice with technical expertise from the global research community.  The goal is to enhance investigation capabilities of day-to-day population health monitors.

March 24, 2017

Models for Forecasting Asthma Exacerbations in Urban Environments

Materials associated with the Analytic Solutions for Real-Time Biosurveillance: Models for Forecasting Asthma Exacerbations in Urban Environments consultancy held March 30-31, 2016 at the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC).

Problem Summary

March 23, 2017

Models for Forecasting Asthma Exacerbations in Urban Environments

Use case for the Analytic Solutions for Real-Time Biosurveillance: Models for Forecasting Asthma Exacerbations in Urban Environments consultancy held March 30-31, 2016 at the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC).

Problem Summary

March 24, 2017

Making the Best Use of Textual ED Data for Syndromic Surveillance

In this webinar Dr. Travers will review two tools developed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which aid in processing textual CC’s and triage notes in support of syndromic surveillance. Textual data from emergency departments (EDs) is a common source of data for syndromic surveillance. In the last few years the adoption of electronic health records systems in EDs has improved the availability of timely electronic data from EDs for secondary uses however using these data for syndrome surveillance can still be problematic.

July 05, 2017

Preparing Disease Surveillance Systems for ICD10

The compliance date for the ICD9-ICD10 transition is October 1, 2015. The hospitals have started the ICD9-ICD10 transition. However, not all data providers will transition the data at the same time. In order to facilitate some coherence to the data during this transition period, user interface and data processing functionalities have been developed in ESSENCE to allow usage of both classification systems simultaneously.

November 17, 2017

A Syndromic Approach to Emergency Department Surveillance for Skin and Soft Tissue Infections

The incidence of and hospitalizations for SSTI have steadily increased over the last decade in the United States, primarily due to the emergence and spread of community acquired Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA). The ED is a common site for SSTI treatment and serves populations not captured by traditional surveillance, including the homeless and uninsured. The use of near real-time syndromic surveillance within the ED to detect unusual activity for further public health investigation has been used to augment traditional infectious disease surveillance.

May 30, 2018

Syndromic Surveillance for Bicycle Related Injuries in Boston, 2007-2010

In May of 2001, Boston released a strategic transportation plan to improve bicycle access and safety. [1] According to the Boston Transportation Department, ridership has increased 122% between 2007 and 2009. [2] A collaborative public health and public safety task force was initiated in 2010 to foster a safe and healthy bicycling environment.


To quantify the injury burden and identify possible risk factors using bicycle related injury (BRI) visits at Boston emergency departments (ED).

May 02, 2019


Contact Us

NSSP Community of Practice



This website is supported by Cooperative Agreement # 6NU38OT000297-02-01 Strengthening Public Health Systems and Services through National Partnerships to Improve and Protect the Nation's Health between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC. CDC is not responsible for Section 508 compliance (accessibility) on private websites.

Site created by Fusani Applications