ESSENCE Training: Building Queries

This presentation will focus on how to build ad-hoc queries in ESSENCE.  In addition to teaching the basic mechanics of building queries, the presentation will explore advanced techniques for building complex queries to find specific case definitions in the data.


Wayne Loschen, MS Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

February 24, 2017

Analysis of Alternatives for Combined and/or Collaborative Syndromic Surveillance Within DoD and VA

The Joint Incentive Fund (JIF) Authorization creates innovative DoD/VA sharing initiatives. In 2009, DoD and VA commenced a biosurveillance JIF project whose principle objectives include improved situational awareness of combined VA/ DoD populations 1 and determining the optimal business model allowing both agency biosurveillance programs to operate more efficiently by: 1) consolidating information technology assets; 2) targeting enhanced collaboration for improved public health outcomes; and 3) improving buying power, and return on investment.

August 23, 2017

Data Sharing Across Jurisdictions Using ESSENCE Federated Queries

There are currently over 25 installations of ESSENCE across the US. Among these, there are 3 instances of multi-jurisdictional implementations. These include a centralized regional system in the National Capital Region for MD, DC, and VA, a Missouri system that includes hospitals and users from the St. Louis area in Illinois, and soon the National Syndrome Surveillance Program (NSSP) version of ESSENCE which will centralize data from many jurisdictions. While each of these systems provides valid ways to share data across jurisdictions, they require data to be sent to another jurisdiction.

August 31, 2017

Using Syndromic Surveillance to Rapidly Describe the Early Epidemiology of Flakka Use in Florida, June 2014 – August 2015

Syndromic surveillance has historically been used to track infectious disease, but in recent years, many jurisdictions have utilized the systems to conduct all hazards surveillance and provide situational awareness with respect to previously identified issues. Flakka is a synthetic drug (class: cathinones) that recently has been featured in the media. Flakka is a stimulant that causes delusions, aggression, erratic behavior, a racing heart and sometimes death. Two specific counties (one in Florida and one in Kentucky) have been at the center of this emerging epidemic.

September 25, 2017

Comparison of ILINet and ESSENCE for Influenza Surveillance at the Local Level

ILINet is used nationwide by sentinel healthcare providers for reporting weekly outpatient visit numbers for influenza-like illness to CDC. The Florida Department of Health receives urgent care center (UCC) data through ESSENCE from participating facilities. Seminole County is unique in that its four sentinel providers located in separate UCCs report into both systems, and all their discharge diagnoses are available through ESSENCE.

October 02, 2017

Evaluation of Praedico™, A Next Generation Big Data Biosurveillance Application

The National Strategy for Biosurveillance promotes a national effort to improve early detection and enable ongoing situational awareness of all-hazards threats. Implicit in the Strategy’s implementation plan is the need to upgrade capabilities and integrate multiple disparate data sources, including more complete electronic health record (EHR) data into future biosurveillance capabilities. Thus, new biosurveillance applications are clearly needed.

November 01, 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

Surveillance for Opioid Overdose in the Veterans Health Administration, 2004-2014

Drug poisoning, or overdose, is an epidemic problem in the United States1,2. In keeping with national trends, a recent study combining U.S. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) data with the National Death Index showed increases in opioid overdose mortality from 2001 to 20093. One of the challenges in monitoring the overdose epidemic is that collecting cohort data to analyze overdose rates can be laborintensive. Moreover, analysts are often unable to collect real-time data on overdose events.

December 03, 2017

Emergency Department Chief Complaint Versus Discharge Diagnosis for Tracking Disease Measures

ESSENCE is a web-based syndromic surveillance system utilized by DHMH to detect and track outbreaks, suspicious patterns of illness, public health emergencies, and biological threats. ESSENCE ED chief complaint data is collected daily from 47 emergency departments in Maryland (all 45 acute care hospitals and 2 freestanding emergency medical facilities). A chief complaint in ESSENCE is a free text field that lists the patient’s reason for the ED visit upon arrival at the hospital.

August 22, 2018

Effectiveness of Using a Chief Complaint and Discharge Diagnosis Query in ESSENCE-FL to Identify Possible Tuberculosis Patients and Contacts in Hillsborough County, Florida

The Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics in Florida (ESSENCE-FL) is a web-based application for use by public health professionals within the Florida Department of Health (FDOH). The main source of data for ESSENCE-FL is emergency department (ED) data. Ten hospitals in Hillsborough County, Florida send their data to the ESSENCE-FL server. ESSENCE-FL requires only a limited data set to be sent by the hospital which includes patient chief complaint (CC) and discharge diagnosis (DD).

August 22, 2018


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