Skip to main content


The DQ Dashboard is an interactive tool developed to help you identify potential data processing issues and to ensure useful syndromic data by measuring the timeliness, completeness, and validity of data being processed on the BioSense Platform.


Real-time emergency department (ED) data from the BioSense surveillance program for ILI visits and ILI admissions provide valuable insight into disease severity that bridges gaps in traditional influenza surveillance systems that monitor ILI in outpatient settings and laboratory-confirmed hospitalization, but do not quantify the relationship between ILI visits and hospital admissions.


The purpose of this analysis is to gain understanding of the burden of influenza in recent years through analysis of clinically rich hospital data. Patterns of visits and severity measures such as the ratio of admissions related to influenzalike illness (ILI) by age group from 2007 to 2010 are described.

Submitted by uysz on Fri, 06/21/2019 - 15:22

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the BioSense program in 2003 to establish an integrated system of nationwide public health surveillance for the early detection and assessment of potential bioterrorism-related illness. Over the ensuing years, the original aims of BioSense were broadened to meet evolving public health surveillance needs and priorities.

In 2009, CDC embarked on a redesign of the BioSense system that would retain the original purpose of early event (or threat) detection and characterization, but enhance the capacity for situation awareness, event response, and routine public health practice. The BioSense redesign will be accomplished through continuous involvement of state and local users, and technical experts in the planning, design, development, and testing phases of the new BioSense system.



The objective of this poster presentation is to provide information on the efforts and results of the user requirements gathering process, pursued in the redesign of the BioSense system employing a User-Centered Design (UCD) approach. A UCD system development approach studies the people that the system will serve, and involves them through the planning, design, and development processes.

Submitted by hparton on Thu, 06/20/2019 - 14:42

Accuracy in identifying drug-related emergency department admissions is critical to understanding local burden of disease and assessing effectiveness of drug abuse prevention and overdose-reduction initiatives. In 2018 the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) began implementation of a mandatory opioid overdose reporting law, applicable to all hospital emergency departments (ED). The mandate requires reporting of patient demographics, causal substance and antagonist ED administration within 48 hours of presentation. This reporting is not name-based. IDPH currently utilizes a near real-time syndromic surveillance (SyS) reporting system for all hospital ED, capturing most of the mandated criteria. Leveraging this existing system facilitates adherence to the mandate while imposing minimal additional burden of reporting on local hospitals. The Division of Patient Safety and Quality at IDPH has thus chosen to evaluate the completeness of overdose reporting and compliance with the opioid overdose mandate that have resulted from use of the current syndromic surveillance system.

Objective: To evaluate capacity of the BioSense ESSENCE platform and pre-defined overdose queries to identify emergency department admissions related to opioid overdose, in compliance with 2018 mandatory overdose reporting laws in Illinois.

Submitted by elamb on Tue, 06/18/2019 - 20:22

The BioSense program’s mission is to support and improve public health surveillance infrastructure and human capacity required to monitor (with minimal lag) critical population health indicators of the scope and severity of acute health threats to the public health; and support national, state, and local responses to those threats. This mission is consistent with the 2006 Pandemic All Hazards Preparedness Act, and 2007 Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD-21), both of which call for regional and nationwide public health situational awareness, through an interoperable network of systems, built on existing state and local situational awareness capability.



The objective of this study is that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will update the International Society for Disease Surveillance community on the latest activities for the BioSense program redesign (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA).

Referenced File
Submitted by hparton on Tue, 06/18/2019 - 12:50

In February, ISDS and the BioSense Redesign Team hosted a Webinar on winter weather surveillance. Now, as the weather becomes warmer, we invite you to learn about what two midwestern states do for heat-related illness (HRI) surveillance. Fatema Mamou and Bill Storm, epidemiologists from Michigan and Ohio, will describe how they conduct HRI surveillance and what they do with the information once it's gathered. They will focus on multiple methodologies and systems, including their states' home syndromic surveillance systems as well as BioSense 2.0.

Electronic public health surveillance serves an especially important function during mass events. Megan Patel, from the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH), will discuss the use of the cloud-based ESSENCE system for situational awareness during the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago, IL. This webinar will highlight improved functionality obtained via the cloud-based version of ESSENCE, as well as provide a real-life example of utilization.

The webinar will cover:


In 2010, as rules for the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Electronic Heatlh Record (EHR) Incentive Programs (Meaningful Use)(1), were finalized, ISDS became aware of a trend towards new EHR systems capturing or sending emergency department (ED) chief complaint (CC) data as structured variables without including the free-text. This perceived shift in technology was occurring in the absence of consensus-based technical requirements for syndromic surveillance and survey data on the value of free-text CC to public health practice. On 1/31/11, ISDS, in collaboration with CDC BioSense, recommended a core set of data for public health syndromic surveillance (PHSS) to support public health's participation in Meaningful Use.


This study was conducted to better support a requirement for ED CC as free-text, by investigating the relationship between the unstructured, free-text form of CC data and its usefulness in public health practice. To better inform health IT standardization practices, specifically related to Meaningful Use, by describing how US public health agencies use unstructured, free-text EHR data to monitor, assess, investigate and manage issues of public health interest.

Submitted by elamb on Thu, 05/02/2019 - 08:52