Making Syndromic Surveillance Relevant and Valuable for Emergency Managers


Intense stress can severely degrade one's ability to process and utilize new kinds of information.1 This psychological phenomena may partially explain why epidemiologist are challenged to communicate and establish the value of SyS information with emergency management professionals (EMPs). Despite the timely and useful insights that SyS data and methods can provide, it is very difficult to convey what these data are when EMPs and epidemiologists are working to make intense, highly-scrutinized and high-consequence emergency decisions. If state and local authorities want emergency plans and responses that benefit from the powerful insights that SyS can provide, epidemiologists need to learn how to best report information and establish a strong rapport before emergencies strike. Over the past ten months, ISDS’s NSSP’s Syndromic Surveillance and Public Health Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery (SPHERR) Committee has worked to identify gaps, potential best practices, document use cases, and identify tools for integration of SyS data in EM activities. During SPHERR practice exchange meetings, SyS professionals have consistently cited effective communication between SyS staff and emergency preparedness staff as a top priority in integrating SyS more fully into all phases of emergencies.

Objective: Identify and document strategies that enhance the value of syndromic surveillance (SyS) data and information for the response, recovery, mitigation and preparedness needs of local and state emergency management professionals in the U.S.

Primary Topic Areas: 
Original Publication Year: 
Event/Publication Date: 
January, 2019

June 18, 2019

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