Sharing Session Recap: Making the Most of Meaningful Use: Enhancing Surveillance with Syndromic Surveillance Standards
Making the Most of Meaningful Use: Enhancing Surveillance with Syndromic Surveillance Standards
During this session, participants learned about meaningful use, the opportunities for public health surveillance, and how integrating syndromic surveillance standards, recommended by the International Society for Disease Surveillance and supported by CDC’s BioSense Program, can enhance agency capability.
Charles Ishikawa, Program Manager for Public Health Practice at the International Society for Disease Surveillance, presented a background on understanding meaningful use in relation to public health. Meaningful use came out of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) as a means to develop infrastructure to improve health outcomes. Meaningful use tries to achieve five things, one of which is to improve population and public health (the objectives are electronic laboratory reporting, immunization, and syndromic surveillance). Ishikawa explained syndromic surveillance process in which epidemiologists use two routes for data packaging between healthcare providers. He explained how the message envelope was not yet defined until the BioSense program convened experts in syndromic surveillance to figure out standards for the message.
Julia Gunn, Director of the Communicable Disease Division at the Boston Public Health Commission, gave the local health department perspective by using case examples where syndromic surveillance was an asset in understanding critical patterns in disease detection. She made the point that it is important to look at the environmental context of a community for syndromic surveillance. She presented a measles case where the use of syndromic surveillance helped to detect patterns.
Taha Kass-Hout, Deputy Director for Information Science and BioSense Program Manager at CDC BioSense program redesign effort, explained how syndromic surveillance is still patchy in the United States. BioSense can help every local community to conduct surveillance to lower the bar for providers and to conduct some of that surveillance to define what is syndromic surveillance.
Kass-Hout closed by saying how the program is available to all and at no cost to the user; CDC is just a partner.
Visit the BioSense Redeisign website for more information about the program.