14 December 2012

2012 ISDS Conference: Best Poster Award

The ISDS annual conference is the premier event dedicated to the advancement of the science and practice of disease surveillance. This year’s theme was 'Expanding Collaborations to Chart a New Course in Public Health Surveillance' and it highlighted the importance of working together across agencies, sectors, and disciplines to improve surveillance methods and population health outcomes. The 2012 Conference was held at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina in San Diego, CA, December 4th-5th. One of the sessions that best captured the theme was the 2012 ISDS Poster Session.

2012 ISDS Conference Best Poster Award Winner.
We had a record number of abstracts submitted for presentation at the 2012 ISDS Conference and, among these, 94 were accepted for poster presentation. Every year, ISDS presents an award for the best poster. This year, all Conference attendees were given the opportunity to vote for the poster that they felt was the 'best.' 

There were many exceptional posters, making it a very competitive process. However, a winner was chosen and was announced at the end of the 2012 ISDS Conference - the poster New Strategy to Monitor and Evaluate Laboratory Biosafety Programs' presented by Heather Meeks, Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).

ISDS congratulates Dr. Meeks and her co-authors on this achievement. For more information on the poster topic, please click here.

10 December 2012

Please Comment: PHIN Messaging Guide for Syndromic Surveillance Release 1.3

The syndromic surveillance stakeholder community is invited to provide comments on Release 1.3 of the PHIN Messaging Guide for Syndromic Surveillance now through December 21, 2012.

Over the last few months ISDS, in partnership and with the support of the Division of Informatics Solutions and Operations (OSELS) of the CDC, has been working to revise the PHIN Messaging Guide for Syndromic Surveillance (Guide). The Guide provides messaging specifications for emergency department and inpatient settings for select ADT and ORU (provided by our colleagues at the Washington State Department of Health) message types. The Guide was first released in 2011 as an emergency department and urgent care center messaging guide and is now being expanded to incorporate inpatient settings as well as stakeholder feedback on prior Guide releases.
Release 1.3 of the Messaging Guide provides a conformance profile for EHR Meaningful Use certification. It also includes an important update that creates a “Hospital Messaging Guide” incorporating Emergency Department, Urgent Care and Hospital Inpatient specifications. The goal of this Guide is to provide HL7 messaging specifications for hospitals providing clinical data to a public health agency for syndromic surveillance. This goal contrasts with that of the recently released ISDS Recommendations because it focuses on the technical specifications for providing the recommended data elements rather than the reasoning behind the data recommendations.

The new Messaging Guide Release 1.3 will improve upon prior releases by:

  • Clarifying ambiguities from Release 1.0
  • Responding to stakeholder feedback on prior releases
  • Incorporating guidelines recommended by the ISDS Meaningful Use Workgroup for inpatient syndromic surveillance data
  • Facilitating the formation of syndromic surveillance data exchange between hospitals (now including inpatient) and public health agencies
  • Consolidating and clarifying hospital EHR conformance requirements for Meaningful Use certification

How to provide comments:
Stakeholder input helps ensure that the Guide will have widespread utility to facilitate both EHR development and the implementation of hospital-based syndromic surveillance systems. Following this community comment period ending on 12/21, the Guide will be revised further, and a finalized version will be released in the spring of 2013.
We encourage everyone interested in this initiative to provide comments on the Messaging Guide Release 1.3. You may provide feedback via an online survey available here or by emailing your comments to Becky Zwickl, MPH, ISDS Public Health Analyst, at bzwickl@syndromic.org. The comment period ends on Friday, December 21, 2012, 11:59 pm EST.