Surveillance Evaluation

Laboratory Audits

ABCs requires routine audits of the reporting clinical laboratories to ensure the system captures all cases of disease under surveillance.

ABCs requires an audit of all clinical laboratories at least once a year. Staff at each reporting site should review the primary data source (e.g., laboratory log slips/log book, computer-generated electronic printouts) for all organisms under surveillance compared to the list of reported cases. Staff complete a case report form on all newly identified cases and collect an isolate when available.

In addition to the annual audit, each site performs an evaluation of their overall surveillance methodologies every 2 to 3 years. This ensures they are capturing all cases of invasive disease in catchment area residents for each pathogen under surveillance. This evaluation includes identifying

  • Laboratories located both within and outside of the ABCs catchment area that process specimens from residents of an ABCs site
  • Facilities or state and local health departments that serve residents of the catchment area

Sites need to communicate routinely with each laboratory and facility or health department that contributes to ABCs cases to ensure that ongoing surveillance is active- and population-based.

Surveillance Indicators

ABCs assesses the following surveillance indicators:

  • Percentage of isolates collected and sent to CDC
  • Percentage of cases enrolled in special studies nested within the surveillance system
  • Timeliness of scheduled isolate shipments
  • Timeliness and sensitivities of completed audit data

ABCs evaluates the timeliness and completeness of reporting using threshold percentages of isolate collection and enrollment into special studies. ABCs assesses surveillance “fatigue” or operational problems using isolate shipping schedules, audit sensitivities, and the timeliness of the audit data being completed by set deadlines.