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J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2004 Mar-Apr;11(2):141-50. Epub 2003 Nov 21.

Implementing syndromic surveillance: a practical guide informed by the early experience.

Author information

1
Children's Hospital Informatics Program, Division of Emergency Medicine, Center for Biopreparedness, Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA. kenneth_mandl@harvard.edu

Abstract

Syndromic surveillance refers to methods relying on detection of individual and population health indicators that are discernible before confirmed diagnoses are made. In particular, prior to the laboratory confirmation of an infectious disease, ill persons may exhibit behavioral patterns, symptoms, signs, or laboratory findings that can be tracked through a variety of data sources. Syndromic surveillance systems are being developed locally, regionally, and nationally. The efforts have been largely directed at facilitating the early detection of a covert bioterrorist attack, but the technology may also be useful for general public health, clinical medicine, quality improvement, patient safety, and research. This report, authored by developers and methodologists involved in the design and deployment of the first wave of syndromic surveillance systems, is intended to serve as a guide for informaticians, public health managers, and practitioners who are currently planning deployment of such systems in their regions.

PMID:
14633933
PMCID:
PMC353021
DOI:
10.1197/jamia.M1356
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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