19 April 2012

2012 ISDS Distribute Community of Practice Meeting

April 10 – 11, 2012
Atlanta, Georgia
Distribute was initially developed in 2006 as a proof of concept model funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s BioSense program, with additional funding from the Markle Foundation. During H1N1, Distribute saw expansion in both site participation and functionality. It has fostered new insights into syndromic surveillance practice and has initiated the formation a community of practice focused on supporting and developing the system as well as each other. Distribute participants have contributed greatly to the advancement of the field of syndromic surveillance.

The goal of the 2012 ISDS Distribute Community of Practice Meeting was to foster innovation, focus community interests, and strengthen professional relationships through peer-to-peer learning and information sharing about disease surveillance practice. The meeting did not disappoint! A relevant and stimulating agenda combined with a wonderful group of state and local Distribute data providers from across the country and stakeholders from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO), Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), and Public Health Informatics Institute (PHII), was the perfect recipe for an energizing and thought-provoking environment.

Specific session topics included:
·       Distribute Update
·       A New Framework for the Surveillance Enterprise
·       Monitoring and Maintaining Data Quality
·       BioSense 2.0
·       Meaningful Use: Reports from the Field on Implementation

As a result of the meeting, most participants indicated that they would change their practice based on what they learned. Specifically, some participants mentioned that they will:
·       use the examples of data quality analysis presented to analyze data completeness and timeliness trends of syndromic surveillance data
·       consider the business matrix more in order to see how their health department can use that framework for doing surveillance
·       begin serious discussions regarding BioSense 2.0 participation and ESSENCE in the cloud
·       work to enhance their weekly surveillance reporting
·       incorporate ideas and suggestions from various states presented during the Meaningful Use implementation session

In addition, several action items were generated, including the development of:
·       A roadmap for best practices for syndromic surveillance business process development
·       Best practices for providing feedback/reports
·       Policy brief on the need for sustainable funding for public health surveillance

As the Distribute project draws to a close, the challenge that lies before us [the Distribute Community of Practice] is finding the next energizing topic(s) or project(s) that will advance the field of disease surveillance and continue to strengthen our community.

A full meeting report will be available shortly.

Written by Tera Reynolds, MPH, ISDS Program Manager

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