New to Syndromic Surveillance?
Syndromic data are captured in nearly real time, which is particularly helpful for assessing the public’s health at any given time or for monitoring specific conditions (i.e., asthma, influenza-like illness). Syndromic surveillance can help you recognize an emerging environmental hazard that affects public health (respiratory problems from a chemical spill) and can also help you identify illness before diagnoses are confirmed and reported.
Because of the immediacy of syndromic data, you’ll need a strong understanding of what these data represent so that your interpretation is accurate. You’ll also need to understand the strengths and limitations of syndromic surveillance before integrating it fully into daily practice.
The resources listed below will help you gain a better understanding of syndromic surveillance.
- Syndromic Surveillance 101: An Online Training Courseexternal icon (modules 1–4)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overview of Syndromic Surveillance. What is Syndromic Surveillance? MMWR 2004;53(Suppl);5–11.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Syndromic Surveillance on the Epidemiologist’s Desktop: Making Sense of Much Data; Figure 1, Theoretical framework for response protocols in use of syndromic surveillance systems. MMWR 2005;54(Suppl);141–6.
- Boston Public Health Commission – Syndromic Surveillanceexternal icon (YouTube video)
The National Association of County and City Health Officials made a trip to the bean city for a visit with the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC). BPHC is a great example of an effective use of syndromic surveillance.
Monitoring, Analyzing, and Responding to Syndromic Surveillance Data
- Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-Based Epidemics (ESSENCE): Overview, Components, and Public Health Applicationsexternal icon
ESSENCE, the syndromic surveillance component adopted by CDC’s NSSP, can be used for everyday public health needs or adapted in response to emerging high-consequence health events. This article explains why resourceful users turn to ESSENCE for a variety of surveillance needs, including infectious disease, injuries, severe weather, natural disaster events, mass gatherings, substance use, chronic diseases, and mental health.
- ESSENCE User Guide [Internet]. Version 1.0. Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology. 2010. Appendix 1: Flowchart for analysis and response to syndromic surveillance data; [cited 2016 Nov 22]. p. 56. Available from www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/disease-reporting-and-management/disease-reporting-and-surveillance/_documents/florida-essence-user-guide.pdfpdf iconexternal icon
- ESSENCE online training: knowledgerepository.syndromicsurveillance.org/essence-online-training-courseexternal icon
- International Society for Disease Surveillance (ISDS) Recommendations on Core processes and EHR requirements for public health syndromic surveillance: knowledgerepository.syndromicsurveillance.org/essence-online-training-courseexternal icon
- Heffernan R, Mostashari F, Das D, Karpati A, Kulldorff M, Weiss D, et al. Syndromic Surveillance in Public Health Practice, New York City. Emerg Infect Dis. 2004;10(5):858–64. Available from: wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/10/5/03-0646_article