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Diagnosis Coding Anomalies Resulting in Hemorrhagic Illness Alerts in Veterans Health Administration Outpatient Clinics


The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) operates over 880 outpatient clinics across the nation. The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory’s Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-Based Epidemics (ESSENCE) utilizes VHA ICD9 coded outpatient visit data for the detection of abnormal patterns of disease occurrence. The hemorrhagic illness (HI) syndrome category in ESSENCE is comprised of 25 different ICD9 codes, including 12 codes specific for viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) (e.g., ebola, yellow fever, CrimeanCongo hemorrhagic fever, lassa, etc.) and 13 nonspecific conditions (e.g., purpura not otherwise specified (NOS), thrombocytopathy, and coagulation defect NOS).


We sought to evaluate the functionality of the diagnosis codes which fall into the syndrome category of hemorrhagic illness.

Submitted by elamb on