31 October 2011

Call for Nominations to Meaningful Use Workgroup

ISDS is seeking nominations for members of a new 10-person Meaningful Use Workgroup with various stakeholder perspectives and expertise in public health practice and medical informatics. One workgroup member will be invited to chair the group by ISDS based on their experience and suitability to the role. Based on the public health uses that ISDS anticipates receiving during the Call for Potential Uses of Public Health Syndromic Surveillance Data, specific expertise in routine public health surveillance using hospital inpatient and primary care data, chronic disease control and prevention, infectious disease control, and injury control and prevention may be requested. Also, given the policy implications of this project, professionals involved in national public health, healthcare, and medical informatics 
associations are requested.

ISDS Meaningful Use Workgroup: The multi-stakeholder MUse Workgroup will guide the development of ISDS recommendations to support public health authorities in using Meaningful Use certified hospital inpatient and ambulatory EHR data for timely and effective public health prevention and response. Workgroup members will work with ISDS staff to develop the project artifacts, provide advice about the subject, ensure input is obtained from relevant stakeholders, review draft materials, review stakeholder input, and recommend specific guidelines to the stakeholder community within the context of Meaningful Use.

Time Commitment: The ISDS MUse Workgroup will meet several times via teleconference and three times during in-person meetings in Boston, MA, and Atlanta, GA:
    1.    Conference call - Introduce the Syndromic Surveillance Meaningful Use: Inpatient and Ambulatory Clinical Data project: November 30, 2011, 2:00-4:00 pm ET
    2.    In-person meeting #1 - Review stakeholder input, identify preliminary recommendations: December 4-5, 2011
    3.    Conference call - Refine preliminary recommendations: December 21, 2011 (tentative)
    4.    Conference call - Review draft preliminary recommendation report: January 25, 2012 (tentative)
    5.    In-person meeting #2 - Document business processes: February 14-15, 2012 (tentative)
    6.    Conference call - Review preliminary stakeholder comments: March 7, 2012 (tentative)
    7.    In-person meeting #3 - Refine recommendations for provisional report: April 10-11, 2012 (tentative)
    8.    Conference call - Review draft provisional recommendation report: May 16, 2012 (tentative)
    9.    Conference call - Review provisional stakeholder comments: July 18, 2012 (tentative)
    10.  Conference call - Review draft final recommendation report: 
August 8, 2012 (tentative

Workgroup members may be asked to attend additional conference calls, review materials, and provide feedback throughout the process. Follow-up e-mail communications or conference calls will be required.

Nomination Process
Self-nominations are welcome. Third-party nominations must indicate that the individual has been contacted and is willing to serve. To be considered for appointment to the Workgroup, please send the following information to meaningfuluse@syndromic.org, subject "Workgroup Nomination":
    ✓    completed Nomination Form
    ✓    one-page letter of interest highlighting experience relevant to the expertise described above and involvement in national public health, healthcare, or medical informatics associations
    ✓    curriculum vitae or resume listing relevant experience

Deadline for submission: All nominations must be submitted electronically via the online submission form by 9:00 pm ET on Friday, November 11, 2011.
Questions: If you have any question, please contact, Charlie Ishikawa at 617-779-0886 or meaningfuluse@syndromic.org.

24 October 2011

Last Day for Early Conference Registration (10/24)

Today (Monday, October 24th) is the last day to take advantage of the reduced price of early registration for the 10th Annual ISDS Conference. Register now!

Building the Future of Public Health Surveillance

The International Society for Disease Surveillance proudly celebrates its tenth annual conference dedicated to the advancement of the technology, research, and practice of public health surveillance. This unique gathering brings together a community of researchers and practitioners focused on monitoring, understanding, and improving population health. The conference presents scientific work at the juncture of innovative analytical techniques, progressive public health practice, and cutting edge informatics to support a timely, accurate and informed response to emerging outbreaks of disease and other health threats. Come help us evaluate where we have been, explore where we are, and envision what can be as we work together to build the future of public health surveillance. 
This year's conference is being held in Atlanta, Georgia from December 7-8 with a pre-conference on December 6. Find more information about the 10th Annual ISDS Conference here.
Register today!

21 October 2011

Call for Nominations for ISDS Board of Directors

Dear ISDS Member, 

During November 2011, there will be an election for three seats on the ISDS Board of Directors. 

To serve as an ISDS board member, you must be a member in good standing of the Society and you must not have a conflict of interest. Board members serve three-year terms, meet monthly by phone and in person at least once a year (although the last couple of years it's been 2-3 times a year). Board members are responsible for governance of the society and provide strategic and fiscal oversight of ISDS activities. Board members also take leadership roles relating to specific committees or areas.  Officers of the Society are elected from within the Board.

If you would like to nominate yourself or someone else for a Board position, or if you have questions about the position, please contact one of the members of the nominating committee (emails are below). Nominations will be accepted until November 10, 2011

The final slate of candidates will be approved by the Board during its November meeting. Candidates will be asked to submit a personal statement that will be distributed to the ISDS membership. Online elections will follow prior to the December conference. The term of newly elected board members begins at the annual conference in Atlanta.

If you have any questions, please contact a member of the nominating committee. 

This year's nominating committee, comprised of the three most recently elected board members, is:


John Brownstein, PhD
Wendy Chapman, PhD
Bill Lober, MD

International Society for Disease Surveillance
2011 ISDS Nominating Committee

20 October 2011

ISDS Contract to Further Clarify Syndromic Surveillance Meaningful Use

International Society for Disease Surveillance Awarded Contract to Further Clarify Syndromic Surveillance Meaningful Use
CDC’s Division of Notifiable Diseases and Healthcare Information awarded a 12 month contract to the International Society for Disease Surveillance (ISDS), collaborating with HLN Consulting, LLC (San Diego, CA), to develop business and infrastructure requirements for syndromic surveillance using clinical data from health information exchanges. This will include syndromic surveillance using hospital inpatient, and ambulatory care data from eligible professionals. In addition, health information exchange architecture will be assessed to support syndromic surveillance using clinical data.

ISDS's Dr. Laura Streichert, Executive Director, and Mr. Charles Ishikawa, Associate Director of Public Health Programs, are directing and managing the project. CDC's project officer is Dr. Taha Kass-Hout, Deputy Director of Health Information Sciences and BioSense Program Manager.

To receive project news and updates, send an email to info@syndromic.org, with "PHSS MUse News" in the subject line. Please include your name and contact information in the message body.

NACCHO Model Practices Program Accepting 2012 Applications

NACCHO is now accepting Model Practices applications from now until November 11. NACCHO's Model Practices Program honors and recognizes outstanding local public health practices and shares these practices through the Model Practices Database. By submitting a  practice, local health departments (LHDs) contribute to the overall improvement of public health through evidence-based practice methods.

1. Be recognized for your LHD's success and for leading by example. 
2. Earn local and national recognition through press release templates and a spotlight in the 2012 fall issue of NACCHO Exchange.
3. Receive a listing in NACCHO's online Model Practices Database.
4. Receive a coveted award and public honors and showcase a poster of your practice at the Model Practices Reception during the 2012 NACCHO Annual Conference in Los Angeles July 11-13, 2012. 
5. Be eligible to receive a stipend to attend the 2012 NACCHO Annual conference. (The opportunity for a stipend is available only to dues-paying members.)

To submit a Model Practices application, visit  www.naccho.org/topics/modelpractices. For more information, contact the Model Practices team at practices@naccho.org. NACCHO looks forward to receiving your application.


18 October 2011

Syndromic Surveillance Implementation Guide Released

A message from Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology and Laboratory Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (October 2011)

Public Health Syndromic Surveillance (PHSS) is a widely adopted and rapidly evolving approach for monitoring and assessing public health. PHSS leverages information technology to systematically collect large volumes of electronic health-related data from clinical and non-clinical service providers in near "real-time" (e.g. hospital, school administrations). Epidemiologists then analyze PHSS data to monitor, assess or identify population health trends including infectious disease outbreaks, exacerbations of chronic disease conditions, and injuries. In conjunction with other surveillance and situation information, PHSS is used by public health authorities (PHA) to guide or evaluate response measures and public health interventions.

The PHIN Messaging Guide for Syndromic Surveillance: Emergency Department and Urgent Care Data Version 1.0 - HL7 Version 2.5.1 (Version 2.3.1 Compatible), translates the recommendations made by the International Society for Disease Surveillance and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help realize the public health objective of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs (a.k.a., Meaningful Use Programs) authorized under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act as part of 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) legislation.

A Frequently Asked Questions document accompanies this guide to assist implementations. Public comments were received on the earlier draft of this document and disposition of the comment received are available in the Public Comment Disposition worksheet.

All Syndromic Surveillance documents can be found online at the CDC’s Meaningful Use website http://www.cdc.gov/ehrmeaningfuluse/Syndromic.html. The PHIN Messaging Guide for Syndromic Surveillance is posted on the PHIN website at http://www.cdc.gov/phin.

For additional questions or support E-mail: phintech@cdc.gov

17 October 2011

Data Use Agreement Update from BioSense 2.0 Redesign

The BioSense 2.0 Program Redesign is well under way thanks to the hard work and commitment of several individuals and public health associations. The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), and the International Society for Disease Surveillance (ISDS), have been working in close collaboration to prepare BioSense 2.0 for the November 15, 2011 roll out. For new information on the model Data Use Agreement for health jurisdictions with regard to data submission and data sharing, please read the latest posting from October 14th from Taha Kass-Hout. 

The body of the post can be found below or at this link to the BioSense community forum: https://sites.google.com/site/biosenseredesign/community-forum/checkinginwiththecommunityonbiosense20. 

Checking in with the community on BioSense 2.0
posted Oct 14, 2011 9:13 AM by Taha Kass-Hout   [ updated Oct 14, 2011 11:44 AM ]

As we get closer to the roll out of BioSense 2.0 on November 15, 2011, I wanted to address some of the concerns and questions that are floating around the community.  The Redesign team and I are very aware of many of the issues jurisdictions are facing and I wanted to bring the community back in the loop on all our efforts to make BioSense 2.0 the most effective system for the user, state and local health jurisdictions.

One of the pieces many jurisdictions are awaiting is the model Data Use Agreement (DUA).  In order to come up with a model DUA, the Redesign team continued to stick with the user centered approach. The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), and International Society for Disease Surveillance (ISDS) were instrumental in collecting input from their membership, reflecting on similar experiences in Distribute and BioSense 1.0, and contributing and commenting on other data sharing models.  After this information collection, all input and advice were shared with a group of lawyers, who not only utilized that information but also spent time having conversations with the various association partners in order to accommodate all concerns and issues.  The lawyers then generated a draft which was vetted by CDC and the associations, and then generated a final draft, which has been vetted with ASTHO and CSTE and is set to be finalized for distribution to jurisdictions next week as part of the recruitment effort.  Jurisdictions will be able to customize the DUA based on their jurisdictions laws and preferences for 1) data submission, and 2) data sharing.  This week, CSTE started reaching out to jurisdictions in an effort to help them join the new environment by facilitating the forthcoming DUA adoption and manage ongoing agreements. This DUA will be signed between the jurisdiction and ASTHO, who is leading the task of procuring and overseeing the BioSense 2.0 environment in the Internet cloud, as well as ensuring it meets strict security, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance regulations and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) requirement for moderate impact information.  They also oversee the governance body, which is comprised of state and local health stakeholders that represent all BioSense 2.0 users.

One common misconception has arisen about data, both submission and sharing:

1. Data Submission: Jurisdictions can use the BioSense 2.0 environment to “catch” data submitted from hospitals and store it in secure space that is owned and controlled solely by the jurisdiction.  The system has the capability to transform it from line level de-identified data submitted from hospitals (for example, ISDS and CDC Meaningful Use Recommended HL7 data elements) to any format that a jurisdiction wants to use.  All of this is encompassed under data submission and is a set of actions that is restricted within the confines of a jurisdictions space.  Using this service also allows hospitals to take advantage of MUse incentives started to going out in November 2011, in correlation with the roll out of BioSense 2.0.  While this does not provide direct money to the health departments, it allows them to create an opportunity for hospitals to share syndromic surveillance data as one of the three public health options in MUse. Though a priority for the November 2011 roll out, the data submission will not be limited to MUse as users have expressed interest in various types of health-related data (even beyond healthcare).  The roll out for November 2011 will only address line listing submission of data from providers or health departments, in the future we hope to accommodate submissions of aggregate level data from health departments upon time when the community and the governance body see this as a priority for the Redesign team to implement.

2. Data Sharing: Outside of these activities is the shared space, where jurisdictions can elect to share views of de-identified data with other jurisdictions at the level they so choose (facility, city, county, or state).  The system is built to aggregate line listing data and make them available for jurisdictions to share in the shared space area at the level of aggregation where a jurisdiction is comfortable sharing it information. Further, CDC can only view data in the environment when invited as a collaborator, and cannot remove data from the environment or publish on any data without the express consent and notification of the jurisdiction and as outlined explicitly in the terms and conditions in the DUA. At a minimum, aggregated level-data for the level a jurisdiction allows to can be shared with CDC. As opposed to BioSense 1.0, CDC will not suck out any data from BioSense 2.0, nor will it have the control of any data; that control is delegated only to the jurisdiction and data can only be viewed by CDC at the level a jurisdiction authorizes it to see.

The Redesign team, working with the associations, has put together a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document designed to address your most common questions and concerns about BioSense 2.0, I hope you take advantage of this rich resource.  Additionally, CSTE held a webinar on August 17, 2011 to introduce its members to BioSense 2.0. The webinar included an overview of the BioSense Program, an explanation of CSTE’s involvement, roles and responsibilities of the various associations and ISDS, and a preview of the latest BioSense application. I encourage you to view the recording of this webinar as it may help you further understand the significant changes underway with the redesign effort, what BioSense 2.0 entails, and how we arrived here with the help of state and local public health communities.

I want to continue the dialogue about BioSense 2.0, its services, governance, policies, and issues.  It is so crucial for all partners in this effort to remain engaged in order to ensure that the users, whom this redesign is centered around, are continually heard and responded to.  BioSense 2.0 is, at its core, intended to be a public health situation awareness program that state and local jurisdictions can actually use and find useful.  Our goal in the BioSense Program is to co-create a system that is simple to access and easy to maintain for the state and local public health communities.  Please continue to provide feedback, challenges, and ideas for BioSense 2.0.  I am looking forward to November 15, 2011, when BioSense 2.0 opens for business, and even more so, to seeing state and local health jurisdictions finally have a space to share, collaborate, and learn from each other.

PS: Please check back for information from ASTHO on their role in BioSEnse 2.0 soon!

Cheers, -Taha


This post was taken from the BioSense Community Forum and can be found in the original text here: https://sites.google.com/site/biosenseredesign/community-forum/checkinginwiththecommunityonbiosense20.

Thank you!

13 October 2011

Twelfth Post for Public Health Situation Awareness

*Message from the BioSense Redesign Team

Dear BioSense Redesign Stakeholder:

Our twelfth post for the Public Health Situation Awareness topic has launched! Please take a moment to visit the BioSense Redesign site and answer the new questions* that explore support needs and elements of data exchange (i.e., messaging capabilities) with BioSense 2.0. The CDC will use your feedback to better understand how to tailor the new BioSense application. Your feedback is valuable to the redesign of the BioSense system and program.

Please visit the BioSense Redesign Collaboration Web Site to access questions at the Requirements Gathering Work Center or link directly to the questions at the PHSA Feedback Forum 12: Prepare to share data in BioSense 2.0 (Posted 10/12/2011).

If you’d like to contribute to a previous post, please click here to access archived questions.

Thank you,

The BioSense Redesign Team

*New questions are posted for comment on a weekly to biweekly basis. Check back often for updates and summaries of feedback posted by stakeholders.

03 October 2011

CALL FOR PAPERS: International Public Health Journal 2012;4(3) Special issue

Message from Rosemary M. Caron, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, University of New Hampshire

Dear Community-Engaged Scholarship Colleagues,

The International Public Health Journal intends to publish a special issue that addresses the following theme: Lessons learned in building community capacity to address persistent public health problems. This theme is intended for academicians and practitioners who work on persistent public health issues in diverse urban and/or rural communities across the globe so that evidence-based and practical solutions that have improved the health of their populations can be shared. These lessons may have come about as a result of surveillance, policy, collaborations, education, research, management and/or a combination thereof. Describe the unique community-based methods that you implemented to have a positive outcome on the public health issue(s) that affects your population of interest.

Manuscripts should be around 4,000 words in length and should be in the Vancouver style (http://www.icmje.org/index.html). Manuscripts are due no later than November 15, 2011 and should be sent electronically to the attention of Dr. Rosemary M. Caron, who is the guest editor for this special issue (Rosemary.Caron@unh.edu). Manuscripts from academic and community collaborators are encouraged. The expected publication of this special issue in the International Public Health Journal is July-September 2012.

The International Public Health Journal is a peer-reviewed Journal aimed at the scientific community interested in the broad area of public health. This Journal provides an international multidisciplinary forum with a holistic approach to public health issues, health and medicine, health and social policy, service aspects, developmental aspects, epidemiology, rehabilitation, family and social issues, quality of life, and all other aspects of public health over the whole age spectrum.