30 May 2014

Fridays from the Archives: Viral Sovereignty

Friday, May 30, 2014: Viral Sovereignty

Since the beginning of May, two cases of MERS-CoV have been identified in the United States. In addition to prompting concerns related to the symptoms and case-fatality rate of MERS, the spread of disease also renews interest in a relatively new concept, viral sovereignty.

Viral sovereignty is defined as  "a sovereign state's ownership rights over pathogens found within their border." The term was first coined in 2007 when Indonesia failed to share samples of the H5N1 virus, claiming that they had viral sovereignty over the samples. Similarly, with MERS, there was a delay between when researchers identified the pathogen and when they notified authorities at the Ministry of Health (MOH). These circumstances raise a slew of issues for public health as researchers struggle between supporting intellectual property rights and the ensuring health of the public.

Last August Scott JN McNabb, PhD, MS and Affan Shaikh, MPH presented on the intersection between International Health Regulations (IHRs) and viral sovereignty in the webinar Global Public Health Surveillance, Governance, and Viral Sovereignty. With additional contributions from Qanta Ahmed, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at SUNY Stony Brook, and Ziad Memish, MD, Deputy Minister of Public Health, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, this presentation provides a dynamic combination of context, anecdotes, scientific knowledge, and in-person experience.

To learn more about this webinar or to review the recording please see the ISDS webinar archive.

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). 

27 May 2014

ASTHO webinar: Decision Analysis Tool for Syndromic Surveillance in Public Health

Decision Analysis Tool for Syndromic Surveillance in Public Health
Date: Monday June 2, 2014
Time: 2-3pm Eastern Time

This webinar will present a decision support tool for jurisdictions to evaluate the Value of Information (VOI) and Return on Investment (ROI) for Syndromic Surveillance system implementation.  One of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials’ (ASTHO) key goals is to help its jurisdictions meet member needs for technical assistance, which includes making informed decisions about their syndromic surveillance options. During this webinar, Booz Allen Hamilton will present a quantifiable decision-analysis tool built for this purpose. The presentation will elaborate on the developed model and possible user inputs that allow for detailed customization for various event scenarios (using influenza as a scenario).

Register here.

Survey for Public Health Practicioners

NBPHE Job Task Analysis
The National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE) is conducting a job task analysis and is seeking as broad of a response rate as possible. This job task analysis is the first of its kind. It will define performance domains and tasks performed by a public health professional, Job task analyses are typically performed to ensure the integrity of a professional examination. However, in addition to confirming how well the CPH examination measures the competence of CPH candidates, the evidence-based data stemming from the job task analysis will also be useful to the seminal ASPPH Framing the Future initiative, which is looking at the future of public health education.

A panel of employers representing the various sectors of public health put together this job task analysis survey. It will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. Anyone working in public health is invited to respond at:  http://nbphe.org/jobanalysis.cfm  Respondents are also encouraged to share this link with colleagues.  

In recognition of the time required to respond, the NBPHE will be raffling off 5 iPads to individuals who complete the survey.

A summary of the public health job task analysis report will be posted on the NBPHE website (www.nbphe.org) by fall 2014.

21 May 2014

CMS and ONC release a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) allowing providers participating in the EHR Incentive Programs to use the 2011 Edition of certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) for calendar and fiscal year 2014

The NPRM will grant flexibility to providers who are experiencing difficulties fully implementing 2014 Edition CEHRT to attest this year. The proposed rule would allow providers to use EHRs that have been certified under the 2011 Edition, a combination of the 2011 and 2014 Editions, or the 2014 Edition.

Beginning in 2015, all eligible providers would be required to report using 2014 Edition CEHRT.

2014 Participation Options
Under this proposal, valid only for the 2014 reporting year, providers would be able to use 2011 Edition CEHRT for either Stage 1 or Stage 2, would have the option to attest to the 2013 definition of meaningful use core and menu objectives, and use the 2013 definition CQMs.
Providers currently working on Stage 1 in 2014 would be able to demonstrate:
Stage 1 (2013 Definition) using 2011 Edition CEHRT, or using a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition CEHRT; or
Stage 1 (2014+ Definition) using 2014 Edition CEHRT.

Providers currently working on Stage 2 in 2014 would be able to demonstrate:
Stage 1 (2013 Definition) using 2011 Edition CEHRT, or using a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition CEHRT;
Stage 1 (2014+ Definition) using 2014 Edition CEHRT; or
Stage 2 (2014+ Definition) using 2014 Edition CEHRT.

Extending Stage 2

The proposed rule also includes a provision that would formalize CMS and ONC’s recommended timeline to extend Stage 2 through 2016. If finalized, the earliest a provider would participate in Stage 3 of meaningful use would be 2017.

Source: https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2014-11944.pdf to be published in Federal Register on 05/23/2014, starting then this NPRM will be open for public comments, over the next 60 days.

19 May 2014

Public Health Informatics Course: Registration Closing Soon!

Designing and Managing Public Health Information Systems: 
8 Steps to Success 

Do you need information systems that support the way you work? Get concrete steps and tools in this instructor-supported online course. Reserve your spot before the Memorial Day holiday----enrollment is limited to 50 students.

This short course will enable you to:
  • Provide strategic guidance to your technical teams
  • Effectively communicate your health information system needs 
  • Improve processes within your agency for better automation
  • Share experiences and learn best practices from peers

What will I learn in this course?
The course covers the eight phases of the Information Technology (IT) Lifecycle, a methodology for approaching information systems development in a systematic way.

How will learning about the IT lifecycle help you? 
When developing a new system, understanding the IT lifecycle will help you integrate your input and participation----so that information systems meet your practice needs.

This instructor-supported course gives you the opportunity to learn about and apply the IT lifecycle to your current informatics projects. The webinars provide an opportunity to ask questions and share challenges and best practices with your peers using your real-life project examples.

Course dates and registration
June 9 - Aug. 8, 2014
Registration ends June 2 or when enrollment is full.

Who should take the course?
Public health practitioners who are involved with information systems or informatics projects. We encourage participation of teams that are working on the same informatics project or group of related projects.

How is the course delivered?
This is an instructor-supported distance learning course, using interactive webinars, a self-paced eLearning module, and supporting materials.

What is the time commitment?
One hour-long webinar plus one hour of preparation time per week, on average, with a total commitment of 20 hours over the eight-week course.

How much does the course cost?
 $800 for an individual
- or -
$1500 for a team of 2-3 (Additional team members may be added at a cost of $300 each. Teams are capped at 6 individuals.)

Additional questions?
Registration and course information is available at phii.org/academy. For additional questions, email informatics.academy@phii.org

16 May 2014

Fridays from the Archives: BioSense Series

Friday, May 16, 2014: BioSense Series

In the fall of 2013 ISDS and the BioSense Redesign team began collaborating on a BioSense 2.0 Webinar Series to provide current and potential BioSense users with a solid understanding of the platform's use.

Since October ISDS has co-hosted seven webinars covering a variety of platform and syndrome-specific topics. Whether you use BioSense as your sole syndromic surveillance system or are working to build a case to your state to sign the BioSense DUA, there are presentations that provide a cogent, clear argument for BioSense's efficacy. All the BioSense 2.0 Webinar Series webinars are available through this link.

Syndrome-specific topics

  • Panel in Influenza-like Illness Surveillance - December 2013
  • Using Surveillance to Prepare and Respond to Winter Weather: Extreme Cold, Ice, and Snow - February 2014
  • Heat-related Illness Surveillance - April 2014
Beginning the process: onboarding and challenge grants
  • Reports from the Field - October 2013
  • The Kansas Experience, Health Information Exchanges, and Onboarding - March 2014
BioSense for Users
  • Creating Syndrome Definitions Using RStudio - December 2013
  • Features Update - January 2014

The final webinar in this series is scheduled for next Thursday, May 22, 2014, 3pm-4pm ET and will focus on data quality checks and assurance. If you're interested in attending you can learn more and register 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). 

13 May 2014

Center for Domestic Preparedness Anniston Alabama FY 2014, 4th Quarter Resident Training Schedule

The Center for Domestic Preparedness is a member of the Department of Homeland Security, National Domestic Preparedness Consortium, and offers fully funded training for eligible responders.  The FY 2014, Fourth Quarter Resident Training calendar was released and enroll opened on 1 May.  Many of these course fill rather quickly so the sooner you can submit your training request them more likely we can enroll you in your first choice.

Courses are identified by “Program Letters” the course information can be located at this link. https://cdp.dhs.gov/training/program/   Once you have accessed this page select the program letter to learn more about a specific course. If you have any question please don’t hesitate to call or drop me an email.  Please visit our website to learn more about the training we offer. 

If you are a state or local emergency responder, this training is completely funded by DHS at no cost to you or your jurisdiction. We fly you into Atlanta airport, pick you up, transport you to the CDP, and provide all meals and lodging.”

The CDP has both a Facebook account (www.facebook.com/cdpfema) and a Twitter account  (https://twitter.com/cdpfema) if you would like to see student comments and other information.

Resident Training Schedule: https://cdp.dhs.gov/training/schedule/

Recommended Training by Discipline: https://cdp.dhs.gov/training/discipline/
•             Emergency Management Agency
•             Emergency Medical Services
•             Fire Service
•             Governmental Administrative
•             Hazardous Materials Personnel
•             Healthcare
•             Law Enforcement
•             Public Health
•             Public Safety Communications
•             Public Works

Accreditation Continuing Education Units: https://cdp.dhs.gov/training/accreditation/

Frequently Asked Questions: https://cdp.dhs.gov/faq/

07 May 2014

Toward One Health: are public health stakeholders aware of the field of animal health?

Fernanda C. Dorea, CĂ©line Dupuy, Flavie Vial, Tera L. Reynolds, Judy E. Akkina

Motivated by the perception that human and veterinary medicines can cooperate in more ways than just fighting zoonoses, the authors organized a roundtable during the 2013 annual meeting of the International Society for Disease Surveillance (ISDS). Collaborations between human and animal health sectors were reported to often rise in response to zoonotic outbreaks (during crisis time) and be mainly based on personal networks. Ways to maintain and strengthen these links were discussed.
Keywords: One Health; one medicine; public health; animal health; veterinary public health
(Published: 15 April 2014)
Citation: Infection Ecology and Epidemiology 2014, 4: 24267 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/iee.v4.24267

05 May 2014

New BST ORISE fellow opportunity

National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System Information Management Fellowship
Behavioral and Clinical Surveillance Branch
Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta, GA

Project Description:

  • Assisting the Lead for Reporting to develop and implement and information management process, including the development of a database, for internal tracking of changes and decisions to the questionnaire and other NHBS activities
  • Assisting the Lead for Reporting with coordination, information management and preparation of priority publications
  • Assisting with the coordination of NHBS questionnaire activities
  • Collaborating with web developers to provide updated content for NHBS external website
  • Collaborating with external and internal stakeholders
  • A Master’s degree in a related field received within the last five years.
  • Experience and/or skills in information management/data modeling, MS Access or a similar software, and SAS is necessary.
  • Experience in informatics, questionnaire development and program coordination is preferred.

How to Apply:
A fellowship opportunity is currently available in the Behavioral and Clinical Surveillance Branch of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) within the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
With 20 participating metropolitan project areas throughout the United States, the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System (NHBS) collects and reports data on three populations at increased risk for HIV infection: men who have sex with men (MSM), injection drug users (IDU), and heterosexuals at increased risk (HET) in the United States. NHBS data are used to monitor issues affecting these populations, which include describing racial disparities, reporting HIV prevalence and awareness, exploring the prevalence of HIV-related risk behaviors, such as drug use and sex, and examining access to HIV testing, care and prevention.
NHBS collects data through personal interviews and HIV testing and is the only national source of data on HIV-positive individuals unaware of their infection, HIV-positive out of care and HIV-negative populations. In 2013 and 2014, a large-scale evaluation and improvement of the NHBS questionnaire was conducted. This fellowship will focus on information management and documentation related to the NHBS questionnaire and will assist with dissemination of NHBS data. Specific opportunities may include:
The Research Participation Program for CDC is administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE). The initial appointment is for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of CDC contingent on the availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend depending on educational level and experience. The participant must show proof of health insurance. The appointment is full-time at CDC in the Atlanta, Georgia, area. Participants do not become employees of CDC or the program administrator, and there are no fringe benefits paid.

To be considered, please send a current CV/resume and a one-page cover letter addressing your relevant experience and interest in this position to the attention of CDCrpp@orau.org. Please reference CDC-NCHHSTP-2014-0034 in all communications.