OpenESSENCE: Disease Surveillance through Medical Record System Integration with OpenMRS

OpenMRS has global presence as an open source web based medical record system (MRS). It is built on an extensible, modular framework that allows the user to create a MRS that is as simple or complex as needed. OE is a multi-user network accessible analysis and visualization tool that enables users to monitor the populationÕs health from any computer connected to that network.

May 02, 2019

Use of Severity Indicators in a Public Health Surveillance System

Data streams related to case severity have been added to the Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (ESSENCE), a disease-monitoring application used by the Department of Defense (DoD), as an additional analytic capability to alert the user when indications for events requiring expanded medical resources exist in clinical data streams. Commonly used indicators are admission and death, but fatalities are rare and many DoD clinics lack admitting capability, so we sought to derive additional severity indicators from outpatient records.

May 02, 2019

Enhanced Influenza Surveillance using Telephone Triage Data in the VA ESSENCE Biosurveillance System

Telephone triage is a relatively new data source available to biosurveillance systems.1-2Because early detection and warning is a high priority, many biosurveillance systems have begun to collect and analyze data from non-traditional sources [absenteeism records, overthe-counter drug sales, electronic laboratory reporting, internet searches (e.g. Google Flu Trends) and TT]. These sources may provide disease activity alerts earlier than conventional sources. Little is known about whether VA telephone program influenza data correlates with established influenza biosurveillance.

March 19, 2018

Establishing a Federal and State Data Exchange Pilot for Public Health Situational Awareness

ASPR deploys clinical assets, including an EMR system, to the ground per state requests during planned and no-notice events. The analysis of patient data collected by deployed federal personnel is an integral part of ASPR and FDOH’s surveillance efforts. However, this surveillance can be hampered by the logistical issues of field work in a post-disaster environment leading to delayed analysis and interpretation of these data to inform decision makers at the federal, state, and local levels.

March 19, 2018

Evaluation of ESSENCE in the Cloud Using Meaningful Use Syndromic Surveillance Data

In November of 2011 BioSense 2.0 went live to provide tools for public health departments to process, store, and analyze meaningful use syndromic surveillance data. In February of 2012 ESSENCE was adapted to support meaningful use syndromic surveillance data and was installed on the Amazon GovCloud. Tarrant County Public Health Department agreed to pilot the ESSENCE system and evaluate its performance compared to a local version ESSENCE they currently used.

May 14, 2018

Localized Cluster Detection Applied to Joint and Separate Military and Veteran Subpopulations

The Joint VA/DoD BioSurveillance System for Emerging Biological Threats project seeks to improve situational awareness of the health of VA/DoD populations by combining their respective data. Each system uses a version of the Electronic Surveillance System for Early Notification of Community-Based Epidemics (ESSENCE); a combined version is being tested. The current effort investigated combining the datasets for disease cluster detection. We compared results of retrospective cluster detection studies using both separate and joined data.

May 17, 2018

SAGES Update: Electronic Disease Surveillance in Resource-Limited Settings

The new 2005 International Health Regulations (IHR), a legally binding instrument for all 194 WHO member countries, significantly expanded the scope of reportable conditions and are intended to help prevent and respond to global public health threats. SAGES aims to improve local public health surveillance and IHR compliance with particular emphasis on resource-limited settings.

May 25, 2018

Refinement of a Population-Based Bayesian Network for Fusion of Health Surveillance Data

The ESSENCE demonstration module was built to help DoD health monitors make routine decisions based on disparate evidence sources such as daily counts of ILI-related chief complaints, ratios of positive lab tests for influenza, patient age distribution, and counts of antiviral prescriptions [1]. The module was a population-based (rather than individual-based) Bayesian network (PBN) in that inputs were algorithmic results from these multiple aggregate data streams, and output was the degree of belief that the combined evidence required investigation.

July 05, 2018

Sharing Public Health Information with Non-Public Health Partners

Automated Electronic Disease Surveillance has become a common tool for most public health practitioners. Users of these systems can analyze and visualize data coming from hospitals, schools, and a variety of sources to determine the health of their communities. The insights that users gain from these systems would be valuable information for emergency managers, law enforcement, and other nonpublic health officials. Disseminating this information, however, can be difficult due to lack of secure tools and guidance policies.

July 05, 2018

Utility of System Generated Syndromic Surveillance Alerts to Detect Reportable Disease Outbreaks

Reportable disease case data are entered into Merlin by all 67 county health departments in Florida and assigned confirmed, probable, or suspect case status. De-identified reportable disease data from Merlin are sent to ESSENCE-FL once an hour for further analysis and visualization using tools in the surveillance system. These data are available for ad hoc queries, allowing users to monitor disease trends, observe unusual changes in disease activity, and to provide timely situational awareness of emerging events.

July 18, 2018

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