26 February 2014

3rd International One Health Congress: New Website & Info

 launches new website
Online registration is possible from 1 April, 2014

The 3rd International One Health Congress brings science and policy together aiming at
the early recognition and control of emerging (infectious) diseases, now and in the years to come. 
Prevention at the source is key in controlling (infectious) diseases that have a growing impact on humans, animals and their ecosystems. 

Visit www.iohc2015.com for more information about scientific focus and program.

21 February 2014

Fridays from the Archives: Surveillance & Integration

Friday, February 21, 2014: Surveillance & Integration

Public health practitioners are increasingly focused on understanding cross-border syndromic surveillance data. Here in the US, ISDS encourages inter-state data understanding and sharing through regional workshops. In Europe, practitioners have been working since 2010 on gathering data and creating a framework for integrating syndromic surveillance. This has occurred under the scope of work of the Triple-S project

In 2012 Duncan Cooper, a Registrar in Public Health under the UK's National Health Service,  spoke about gathering data from European countries on their syndromic surveillance systems. In Towards Integrated Syndromic Surveillance in Europe?, Dr. Cooper describes Triple-S's work to meet the objective of "increasing the European capacity for real-time or near-real time surveillance and monitoring the health burden of expected and unexpected health related events". 

First, the presentation addresses practical concerns. Prior to integrating syndromic surveillance systems, the project needs data. Not syndromic surveillance data, per se, but metadata on the systems themselves. For instance, who are the key stakeholders? What are individual syndromic surveillance systems used for? Is there even a syndromic surveillance system in all target countries?

To answer these questions the Triple-S project team identified key stakeholders and lined up site visits throughout Europe. They also sent questionnaires to 28 European Union countries, including subsequent in-depth follow up questionnaires. With this data, the project progressed to identifying next steps, including developing a minimum dataset, communication materials, common evaluation criteria, and checklists. 

Perhaps most importantly, this project established trust and communication between a variety of public health jurisdictions. Going forward, the EU can integrate reporting on syndromic surveillance functions such as outbreak detection and general public-health surveillance, a vital function in a very inter-connected world.

This post is part of the series Fridays from the Archives. You can access all posts in the series here.

Written by Becky Zwickl, MPH, ISDS Public Health Analyst (bzwickl@syndromic.org).

11 February 2014

CSTE Webinar on the ACA and Health Care Integration: February 12th, 1 pm ET

On Wednesday, February 12, 2014 from 1-2pm EST, CSTE will be hosting a webinar entitled Notes from the Field: Oregon’s and Illinois’ Experiences with Public Health and Health Care Integration.  This webinar will characterize the role of the epidemiologist in a post-ACA environment.

After this webinar, participants will be able to:
  1. Describe the role of the epidemiologist in a post-ACA environment.
  2. Describe the importance of metrics for successful public health and primary care integration efforts.
The webinar will be presented by Katrina Hedberg, State Epidemiologist in Oregon, and Craig Conover, State Epidemiologist in Illinois.

Topic: Feb. Primary Care Integration Call 
Host: Jessica Pittman 
Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 
Time: 1:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00) 
Session number: 792 743 127 
Session password: epi1234 

To join the session 
2. Enter your name and email address (or registration ID). 
3. Enter the session password: epi1234 
4. Click "Join Now". 
5. Follow the instructions that appear on your screen.

07 February 2014

Fridays from the Archives: Meaningful Use & Ambulatory Data

Friday, February 7, 2014: Meaningful Use & Ambulatory Data

It's the first Friday of the month, which means the Meaningful Use Community Call is this afternoon (more info here). These calls act as a platform for public health practitioners to discuss their status with implementing the syndromic surveillance objective of Meaningful Use, often looking towards future Meaningful Use stages. We've had many discussions surrounding what to do with Eligible Professionals, or EPs, who are interested in submitting data. Currently, many jurisdictions are putting these EPs in queues until they have the capacity to process their data. 

But why is receiving ambulatory data an issue at all? What makes ambulatory data unique from existing Emergency Department (ED) data?

One of the largest challenges in incorporating ambulatory data is sheer volume. Corey Spears and Michelle Siefert plainly lay out this dilemma in Discovering the New Frontier of Syndromic Surveillance: A Meaningful Use Dialogue on Inpatient and Ambulatory EHR Technology. At an ED visit the patient, at least ostensibly, is encountering some type of emergency to prompt the visit. In ambulatory settings, routine visits are common. Additionally, there are a wide variety of ambulatory care providers. Do public health departments want data from internists? Almost certainly. But do they also want data from dermatologists? That's a bit less certain.

This webinar is particularly interesting because it presents the information from the perspective of EHR vendors, an important stakeholder group that has substantial investment in Meaningful Use processes.

Interested in learning more? Join our Meaningful Use Community calls and view the webinar recording on the ISDS website.

This post is part of the series Fridays from the Archives. You can access all posts in the series here.

Written by Becky Zwickl, MPH, ISDS Public Health Analyst (bzwickl@syndromic.org).