Enhancing Public Health Surveillance by Using Multiple Data Sources for Syndromic Surveillance: The Alberta Real Time Syndromic Surveillance Net


Capital Health is a regional health care organization, which provides services for over one million inhabitants in the Edmonton area of Alberta, Canada. Traditionally, disease surveillance under its jurisdiction has been paper-based and records maintained by different departments in several locations. Before the Alberta Real Time Syndromic Surveillance Net (ARTSSN), there was no centralized database or unified approach to surveillance and automated reporting despite rich electronic health data in the region. The existing labor-intensive manual surveillance process is inefficient and inherently susceptible to human error. Its effectiveness is sub-optimal in detecting outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases, and clusters of injuries or toxic exposures. The ultimate objective of ARTSSN is to enhance public health surveillance through earlier and more sensitive detection of clusters and trends, with subsequent tracking and response through an integrated, automated surveillance and reporting system.



ARTSSN is a pilot public health surveillance project developed for the Capital Health region of Alberta, Canada and funded by Alberta Health and Wellness. This paper describes the advantages of using ARTSSN and comparing information derived from multiple electronic data sources simultaneously for real time syndromic surveillance.

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October, 2007

July 30, 2018

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