Using the CA Opioid Overdose Surveillance Dashboard to track opioid overdose deaths

California continues to face a serious public health crisis with the opioid epidemic having substantial health and economic impacts. The epidemic is dynamic and rapidly changing, involving both prescription opioids influenced by prescribing and dispensing patterns as well as illicit opioids influenced by the availability of heroin and recently, the increased availability of fentanyl. The complexity of the issue necessitates data-informed actions through multi-sector, strategic collaboration at both the state and local levels to address the problem comprehensively.

June 18, 2019

Comparing Syndromic Data to Discharge Data to Measure Opioid Overdose Emergency Department Visits

Timely and accurate measurement of overdose morbidity using emergency department (ED) data is necessary to inform an effective public health response given the dynamic nature of opioid overdose epidemic in the United States. However, from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, differing sources and types of ED data vary in their quality and comprehensiveness. Many jurisdictions collect timely emergency department data through syndromic surveillance (SyS) systems, while others may have access to more complete, but slower emergency department discharge datasets.

June 18, 2019

Evaluation of Syndromic Surveillance for Opioid Overdose Reporting in Illinois

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.

June 18, 2019

Beyond Overdose: Surveillance of Recreational Drug Use and Corresponding Toxicology Testing

Drug overdose deaths are increasing nationally and in Minnesota (MN). This is only a fraction of the overall burden that recreational drug use exacts on emergency departments (ED) and hospitals. In addition to opioids and other drugs, three outbreaks of synthetic cannabinoids and cathinones have occurred in MN recently. ICD codes do not adequately identify patients treated for drug use. Also, toxicology data for these patients are limited: routine toxicology testing is not performed at hospitals as results are not timely enough to be useful for clinical care.

June 18, 2019

Real-time monitoring of a mass K2-related overdose outbreak – Connecticut, 2018

On August 15, 2018, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) became aware of a cluster of suspected overdoses in an urban park related to the synthetic cannabinoid K2. Abuse of K2 has been associated with serious adverse effects and overdose clusters have been reported in multiple states. This investigation aimed to characterize the use of syndromic surveillance data to monitor a cluster of suspected overdoses in real time.

June 18, 2019

Developing Mindful and Targeted Data Visualizations for Diverse Audiences

Tennessee has experienced an increase of fatal and non-fatal drug overdoses which has been almost entirely driven by the opioid epidemic. Increased awareness by medical professionals, new legislation surrounding prescribing practices, and mandatory use of the state's prescription drug monitoring program has resulted in a decrease of opioid prescriptions and dosages. Paradoxically, emergency department discharges and inpatient hospitalizations due to opioid overdoses have continued to increase.

June 18, 2019

Identification and Assessment of Repeat Drug Overdose Visits at EDs in Virginia

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) utilizes syndromic surveillance ED data to measure morbidity associated with opioid and heroin overdoses among Virginia residents. Understanding which individuals within a population use ED services for repeated drug overdose events may help guide the use of limited resources towards the most effective treatment and prevention efforts.

June 18, 2019

An Assessment of the EMS Drug Overdose to Death Pathway from 2011 to 2017

Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, with an estimated 60,000 deaths in 2016. Nationally, EMS overdose responses with naloxone administration have nearly doubled from 2012 to 2016 from 573.6 to 1004.4 per 100,000 EMS events. Resuscitation using the opioid antagonist, naloxone is recommended in cases of suspected opioid ODs, and has been increasingly used by EMS agencies, law enforcement, healthcare providers, and Good Samaritans.

June 18, 2019

Enhanced Surveillance of Nonfatal Emergency Department Opioid Overdoses in California

The opioid epidemic is a multifaceted public health issue that requires a coordinated and dynamic response to address the ongoing changes in the trends of opioid overdoses. Access to timely and accurate data allows more targeted and effective programs and policies to prevent and reduce fatal and nonfatal drug overdoses in California.

June 18, 2019

Analytic Fusion for Essential Indicators of the Opioid Epidemic

Unlike other health threats of recent concern for which widespread mortality was hypothetical, the high fatality burden of opioid overdose crisis is present, steadily growing, and affecting young and old, rural and urban, military and civilian subpopulations. While the background of many public health monitors is mainly infectious disease surveillance, these epidemiologists seek to collaborate with behavioral health and injury prevention programs and with law enforcement and emergency medical services to combat the opioid crisis.

June 18, 2019

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