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Impact of the NSSP’s transition to ESSENCE on chief complaint field-based syndromes


In January 2017, the NSSP transitioned their BioSense analytical tools to Electronic Surveillance System for Early Notification of Community-Based Epidemics (ESSENCE). The chief complaint field in BioSense 2.0 was a concatenation of the record's chief complaint, admission reason, triage notes, and diagnostic impression. Following the transition to ESSENCE, the chief complaint field was comprised of the first chief complaint entered or the first admission reason, if the chief complaint was blank. Furthermore, the ESSENCE chief complaint field was electronically parsed (i.e., the original chief complaint text was altered to translate abbreviations and remove punctuation). This abstract highlights key findings from Maricopa County Department of Public Health's evaluation of the new chief complaint field, its impact on heat-related illness syndromic surveillance, and implications for ongoing surveillance efforts.


To evaluate the effect and implications of changing the chief complaint field during the National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) transition from BioSense 2.0 analytical tools to BioSense Platform ESSENCE.

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