20 June 2012

Explore ISDS' Revised Guidelines!

Take a tour through ISDS' Revised Guidelines for Syndromic Surveillance Using Inpatient and Ambulatory Clinical Care EHR Data using the newly released presentation found below. Navigate through the various elements of the Revised Guidelines at your own pace to become better acquainted with the document before you provide feedback. This presentation provides a straight-forward overview of the Guidelines that will prepare you to review the full text of the Revised Guidelines and provide informed comments. The purpose of this presentation is to facilitate your understanding and encourage you to provide feedback during the final comment period. Remember, this is your last opportunity to directly shape the recommended guidelines to the ONC. Your input will either support the changes that were made in the Revised Guidelines or emphasize places where further edits are needed.

Comment Period Deadline: July 3, 2012

14 June 2012

BioSense 2.0 FOA - Update!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced important amendments to the BioSense 2.0 funding opportunity, "BioSense 2.0: Building State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Surveillance Capacity to Enhance Regional and National All-Hazards Public Health Situation Awareness"on June 14, 2012. Thanks to newly available funds, the funding capacity of the FOA has increased. Please find a detailed description of the changes below.

The amendment involved three main issues: 
1. Increased funding - approximate current fiscal year funding: $7,000,000
2. Increased number of grantees - approximate number of awards: up to 35
3. Changed anticipated award date - September 1, 2012

These changes have not had any effect on the application deadline date which remains June 26, 2012 at 5:00 PM EDT. 

Learn more about this funding opportunity by downloading the updated appellation package found here: http://apply07.grants.gov/apply/opportunities/packages/oppCDC-RFA-OE12-1202-cfda93.283-cidOSELS-NR.pdf

The instructions for applying for this grant opportunity have also changed.  You can download the new instructions here: http://apply07.grants.gov/apply/opportunities/instructions/oppCDC-RFA-OE12-1202-cfda93.283-cidOSELS-NR-instructions.doc

Highlighting the 2012 Pre-Conference Workshops

Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina
December 3, 2012
1380 Harbor Island Drive | San Diego, California 92101

Don’t miss the 2012 ISDS Pre-Conference Workshops! The workshops include options for professionals with varying levels of experience – from students to seasoned practitioners. ISDS invites professionals from around the world to develop core disease surveillance skills and collaborate with their peers.

ISDS Pre-Conference Tracks will be lead by respected leaders in the field, including Dr. Howard Burkom, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (Data Analysis Methods 101); Mr. James Daniel, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (Meaningful Use Overview); Dr. Scott McNabb, Emory School of Public Health (Track 3 Sessions), among others.

Concurrent Pre-Conference Tracks

Track 1: Syndromic Surveillance, Informatics, Data Analysis, and Anomaly Investigation: The 101 Series. This workshop will provide an overview of key topics to introduce professionals to core public health and surveillance competencies. The track will include an overview of syndromic surveillance, public health informatics, data analysis methods, anomaly detection, investigation techniques, and data visualization methods using “R” statistical software. The objective of this track is to “bridge the knowledge gap” in order to better understand and apply public health data for informed and meaningful decision-making.

Track 2: Public Health and Meaningful Use: Closing the Surveillance Loop. This workshop is designed to facilitate discussions around Meaningful Use and the need for closing the surveillance loop between healthcare providers and public health practitioners in order to increase the effectiveness and capacity of disease surveillance. The track will include an overview of Meaningful Use and Health Information Exchanges (HIEs), including best practices, lessons learned, and next steps. Interactive break-out sessions will focus on the healthcare provider onboarding process, data transport mechanisms, data quality issues, analytics, attestation, and other group-specified topics. The break-out groups will have an opportunity to summarize and report their findings to the larger group. The workshop will conclude with a panel discussion, integrating the perspectives of public health practitioners and healthcare providers on the “meaning” of meaningful use data.

Track 3: Assessment tools to meet the core capacities of the International Health Regulations (IHRs). This hands-on workshop will introduce participants to concepts and tools to assess the gaps and current performance of public health practice needed to meet the core requirements for both biosafety and biosurveillance under the International Health Regulations (IHR). Attendees will learn about IHR requirements and assessment concepts, plus use hands-on tools to measure country-specific opportunities and challenges in implementing public health interventions that fill gaps and improve performance. They will discuss specific approaches to measurement of impediments to IHR target compliance by correlating their assessment findings into recommendations for public health stakeholders.

Swap Meet

All tracks will also feature access to the Swap Meet session. The Swap Meet is an exciting opportunity to walk around to tables and informally discuss topics or systems with system developers, system users, and experts.

*Please note that Continuing Medical Education credits (CME) will not be offered for 2012 Pre-Conference Workshop attendance.

13 June 2012

Joint Public Health and Meaningful Use Nationwide Call

In an effort to better inform the public health practice community about the funding opportunities made available through CMS and state Medicaid programs, JPHIT will be co-sponsoring a webinar with the ONC, CDC, and CMS that features Kentucky's use of these funds. The funds are available to public health, health information exchanges, and other principally to support one-time infrastructure costs. 

The National Governors Association has prepared a fact sheet on the purpose and process of this new Medicaid funding mechanism.

This event wil take place on Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM EDT.

The agenda for this meeting will be: 

1. 10 minutes  Announcements and Introduction (CDC, ONC or CMS)

Directors - Laura Conn (CDC), and Jim Daniel (ONC)

2. 40 minutes – Presentation:  “HIE & Public Health Meaningful Use Measures ”

Multiple Presenters: Polly Mullins Bentley, Acting Executive Director, KY Governor’s Office of Electronic Health Information  (State HIT Coordinator), Karen Chrisman, KHIE’s Staff Attorney, April Smith, KHIE’s Project Manager, N. Brennan O’Banion, Ph.Dc, KHIE’s Public Health Consultant, and Robert Nowell, Director of Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, KY Department for Medicaid Services 

This presentation will showcase the established and planned value-added service layers of the Kentucky Health Information Exchange that support public health reporting and Meaningful Use Measures. 

3. 10 minutes - Question and Answer Session 

Below is the WebEx information to join the call: 

Topic: Joint Public Health and Meaningful Use Nationwide Call
Host: Shirilyn Njie
Date and Time: Thursday, June 21, 2012 3:00 pm, Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00)
Event number: 653 203 252
Event password: PHMU*614
Event address for attendees: https://westat.webex.com/westat/onstage/g.php?d=653203252&t=a

To view in other time zones or languages, please click the link: https://westat.webex.com/westat/onstage/g.php?d=653203252&t=a&EA=shirilynnjie%40westat.com&ET=4ff36a3a453ba159d97d3955660b6a62&ETR=b50d8ffe2b4a54b522cfab73907be283&ORT=MiMxMQ==&p
To join the teleconference only
To receive a call back, provide your phone number when you join the event, or call the number below and enter the access code.
Call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1-650-429-3300
Global call-in numbers: https://westat.webex.com/westat/globalcallin.php?serviceType=EC&ED=193383127&tollFree=1
Access code: 653 203 252

11 June 2012

Practice Fusion Releases New EMR Dataset and Data Challenges

On June 6th, Practice Fusion released a new HIPAA-compliant research dataset that includes de-identified medical records of lab results, diagnoses, medications, allergies, immunizations, smoking status, visits to the doctor, and vital signs. 

In conjunction with the release of this dataset, Practice Fusion is partnering with Kaggle, "the leading platform for predictive modeling competitions," to host two public health data challenges for developers, designers, data scientists and researchers.

Prediction Challenge: This two-part challenge encourages researchers to first submit a prediction problem based on the dataset provided by Practice Fusion. Once the winning prediction problem is selected, the challenge to will be open to the entire research community. Prediction problem ideas must be submitted by June 30, 2012. The prediction contest will then run from July 5, 2012 - September 10, 2012. 

Open Challenge: Competitors are encouraged to combine Practice Fusion's clinical dataset with one or more public datasets available at www.data.gov to create something new. This can be anything from a disease map, personal health app, or a new tool. Submissions are open until September 10, 2012. 

Access the newly available dataset and learn more about these two competitions here: http://www.kaggle.com/c/pf2012.

07 June 2012

May 2012 Literature Review Summary

ISDS Research Committee
May 31, 2012

Between the bi-monthly Literature Review calls, the Research Committee leadership is hard at work sifting through articles on a weekly basis, and identifying those that would be of interest to the committee. The leadership’s efforts leading up to the May call were not in vain – they resulted in very stimulating conversation.

One article discussed on the call is titled Social and News Media Enable Estimation of Epidemiological Patterns Early in the 2010 Haitian Cholera Outbreak (American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene); it assessed the correlation of volume of cholera-related HealthMap reports, Tweets, and government cholera cases reported in the first 100 days of the 2010 Haitian cholera outbreak. The Research Committee gratefully welcomed first author, Dr. Rumi Chunara of the Children’s Hospital Informatics Program, Children’s Hospital Boston, to the Literature Review call to answer questions about the publication. Dr. Chunara’s presence resulted in all participants gaining a deeper understanding of the research and its implications.

Other articles that were discussed:

Full article summaries written by Research Committee members are available here.

In addition to the article summaries and discussions, the Award for Outstanding Research Articles in Biosurveillance was announced! This award is being offered in order to recognize disease surveillance scientists and professionals for contributions to their fields of research. Nominations for the awards are currently being accepted (Deadline: June 25th). Nominate today.

05 June 2012

Comment Period Open for Input on ISDS' Revised Guidelines for Meaningful Use

ISDS is pleased to present the Revised Guidelines for Syndromic Surveillance Using Inpatient and Ambulatory Clinical Care EHR Data and requests your feedback on these Revised Guidelines during the final 30-day public comment period.

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the Draft Guidelines. Over the last month, the Meaningful Use Workgroup revised the Guidelines to better align with stakeholder needs, perspectives, and expectations based on stakeholder comments. You can view a summary of the major changes in the Revised Guidelines document or in the Guidelines FAQ

ISDS requests your feedback in the coming month during the final, and most important, comment period prior to ISDS' release of recommendations for Meaningful Use. This is your last opportunity to directly shape the recommended guidelines to the ONC, as your input will either support the changes that were made int he Revised Guidelines or emphasize places where further edits are needed.

The comment period will be open from June 5, 2012 - July 3, 2012

How to provide comments
2. E-mail ISDS Public Health Analyst, Becky Zwickl, MPH at bzwickl@syndromic.org
3. Join an open teleconference call to discuss your comments with your colleagues and MU Workgroup members on Monday, June 18th at 1:00 PM EDT. More information
4. Schedule a call with Becky Zwickl to provide feedback by contacting her at bzwickl@syndromic.org

You may learn more about the development of the Guidelines for Syndromic Surveillance Using Inpatient and Ambulatory Clinical Care EHR Data and the MU Workgroup members on the ISDS website here: http://www.syndromic.org/meaningfuluse/IAData.

If you have any questions, please contact ISDS Associate Director of Public Health Programs, Charlie Ishikawa, MSPH at meaningfuluse@syndromic.org.

2012 ISDS Conference Highlight: Abstract Submission

2012 ISDS Conference
Expanding Collaborations to Chart a New Course in
Public Health Surveillance
Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina
1380 Harbor Island Drive | San Diego, California 92101

The ISDS Annual Conference is the premier event dedicated to the advancement of the science and practice of biosurveillance. This year’s theme, Expanding Collaborations to Chart a New Course in Public Health Surveillance, will highlight the importance of working together across agencies, sectors, and disciplines to improve surveillance methods and population health outcomes. The conference will be held at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina in San Diego, CA, December 4-5, 2012, with Pre-Conference Workshops on December 3rd.


Submission Types

Traditionally, the ISDS Conference has accepted abstracts for two types of presentations: oral and poster. This year, ISDS is introducing three new presentation types:

1.     Panel *New for 2012*

2.     Roundtable *New for 2012*

3.     System Showcase Demonstrations *New for 2012*


Track Descriptions

I.        Analytical Method
a.       Analytical Methods: Applied
b.      Analytical Methods: Research & Development
This theme is focused on important and novel advances in the field of surveillance methodologies and analytical approaches. Abstracts in the Applied sub-track should describe methods or processes routinely used in a production-type environment. Abstracts in the Research and Development sub-track should describe methods and processes still under development or tested within a research or pilot setting.

II.     Informatics
a.       Informatics: Applied
b.      Informatics: Research & Development
Abstracts in the Applied sub-track should describe methods or processes routinely used in a production-type environment. Abstracts in the Research and Development sub-track should describe methods and processes still under development or tested within a research or pilot setting.

III.  Policy (at local, state, federal, international levels)
This theme is focused on sharing successes, challenges or approaches leveraged in the use or development of policy that affects biosurveillance operations and activities.

IV.  Public/Population health surveillance
a.      Public/Population Health Surveillance: Practice
b.      Public/Population Health Surveillance: Research
c.      Public/Population Health Surveillance: Evaluation
This theme is focused on improving the daily processes of timely public/population health surveillance, including detection, signal validation, event characterization, investigation, and response. Abstracts in the Practice sub-track should describe practices routinely used in a production environment and/or deployed in field by public health departments or other agencies. Abstracts in the Research sub-track should describe research related to surveillance, health systems, etc. Abstracts in the Evaluation sub-track should describe evaluations of public/population health surveillance systems, workflows, protocols, etc.

For more information about the changes and to submit an abstract visit http://www.syndromic.org/abstract-submission/2012. The abstract submission deadline is September 6, 2012.

2012 Conference Registration is also OPEN. For more information and to register: http://www.syndromic.org/annual-conference/2012/registration.

*Use #2012ISDSC in all conference-related tweets!