Evaluating Surveillance Systems
The growing interest and significant investment in electronic surveillance systems have
fueled the demand for techniques that accurately evaluate their effectiveness. analyze issues
associated with evaluating electronic disease surveillance systems.
Post an analysis of the issues associated with evaluating the effectiveness of electronic
disease surveillance systems. Include an explanation of how you would address the interests
of multiple constituencies.
Evaluating Surveillance Systems
Throughout the world, the recent past years have seen an increased implementation of
electronic surveillance systems. Such systems include syndromic reportable systems and
electronic disease surveillance systems; these systems have helped in increasing the amount of
data available to public healthcare givers and agencies in almost real time. However, the
effective use of such systems require efficient access of data from various sources, for this
reason, there are a number of issues surrounding the effective use of electronic disease
surveillance systems. This paper seeks to analyze the effective access of surveillance data as an
issue associated with the evaluation of electronic disease surveillance systems. The paper will
draw examples from, the NC EDSS (North Carolina Electronic Disease Surveillance System), a
syndromic electronic surveillance system.
Analysis of an issue surrounding electronic surveillance systems
Between April and October 2009, data collected by NC EDSS was analyzed by a group
of researchers from NCPERRC (North Carolina Preparedness and Emergency Response
EVALUATING SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS 2
Research Center) (Samoff et al., 2012). Additionally, a number of public health staff members
that might have interacted with the system or had used data from the system were surveyed to
give their experience concerning the system. The use of NC EDSS was assessed in accordance
with the event investigation of the H1N1pandemic, and based on policy development, program
management and reporting. It was found from the study that the use data from the surveillance
system in North Carolina’s local, regional and state level lead to meaningful public health
actions including disease detection and disease management, as well as, disease informing
program management. Healthcare givers used data derived from the syndromic surveillance
system for the common detection public health events and for the traditional public health needs.
Thought it was evident from the 2009 study that the data from the NC EDSS resulted in a
meaningful public health action, the study also found out that many potential users of the data
from the system did not have access to the system (Samoff et al., 2012). When public health staff
receives information from expert users of electronic surveillance systems, they find such
information to be useful (Bravata et al., 2004); this suggests that the access to surveillance data
should be efficient enough to allow public health staff to integrate the system’s data with other
surveillance information for policy development, program management and event investigation.
Since efficient access is an issue surrounding electronic surveillance system, two
approaches can potentially be applied to address the issue. To support public health responsive
review of surveillance data, it is essential to employ a centralized approach and the forwarding of
relevant information to various potential users. A decentralized approach can also be used as it
will help in the development of simple and efficient access to electronic surveillance systems
(Chretien et al., 2008); this will guarantee NC EDSS and other surveillance data to be available
over a single platform.
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Conclusion and recommendation
To prioritize efficient access of surveillance data, it would be essential to make changes
to surveillance systems’ training and programming so as to better support NC EDSS and other
surveillance data access and use. It would also make sense if protocols were developed to make
it clear when NC EDSS and other surveillance systems can be access in public health practice. It
would also help if custom-based capacity search was developed to allow customized and flexible
use of surveillance data at different levels, as well as, to facilitate potential cluster investigations
that may not be captured by the surveillance systems.
EVALUATING SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS 4
Bravata, D. M., McDonald, K. M., Smith, W. M., Rydzak, C., Szeto, H., Buckeridge, D. L., … &
Owens, D. K. (2004). Systematic review: surveillance systems for early detection of
bioterrorism-related diseases. Annals of Internal Medicine, 140(11), 910-922.
Chretien, J. P., Burkom, H. S., Sedyaningsih, E. R., Larasati, R. P., Lescano, A. G., Mundaca, C.
C., … & Lewis, S. H. (2008). Syndromic surveillance: adapting innovations to developing
settings. PLoS medicine, 5(3), e72.
Samoff, E., Waller, A., Fleischauer, A., Ising, A., Davis, M. K., Park, M., … & MacDonald, P. D.
(2012). Integration of Syndromic Surveillance Data into Public Health Practice at State
and Local Levels in North Carolina. Public Health Reports, 127(3), 310.