NSSP Update – July 2023

NSSP Update

A Technical Newsletter for the NSSP Community of Practice | July 2023

The National Syndromic Surveillance Program issues NSSP Update monthly to share the latest Community of Practice activities, technical and program updates, and ways in which syndromic surveillance is improving public health.

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Community Health Impacts After a Jet Fuel Leak Contaminated a Drinking Water System: Oahu, Hawaii, November 2021

Complementary data sources—including NSSP’s emergency department
data—supplement an Assessment of Chemical Exposures survey.

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Don’t Miss Our Monthly Calls!

Plans are underway to highlight even more member projects and challenges. And if you’re new to NSSP, please join our new-member orientation.

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NSSP Releases the pynssp Python Package

Python programmers have reason to celebrate! The pynssp Python package is an alternative to the widely used Rnssp R package. The pynssp package has all the functionality provided by Rnssp but is coded for Python users.

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How the BioSense Platform Processing Creates a Unique Visit Identifier

By using three calculated fields, the BioSense Platform ensures a unique visit identifier across all messages for each patient visit.

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Tips for Using Free-Text Queries to Improve ESSENCE Search Criteria

Here’s how free-text queries work when some fields are BLANK and others NULL.

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Data Validation Calls Provide Forum to Ask Questions and Share Tips

Every two months the onboarding team responds to your questions about data quality and facility onboarding. Here are the latest tips and resources.

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New to Syndromic Surveillance?

For new site admins, we have a job aid for easing into your new role. New staff? Read “Tips for Engaging Staff.” New to NSSP? Check out these resources to learn about syndromic surveillance, especially the new training series titled Introduction to Syndromic Surveillance Methodology.

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Check Out the Updated Laboratory Data FAQs

We explain NSSP’s agreement with a national lab, data flow and frequency, health conditions covered, specimen identifiers, and more.

Jan 2022 ESSENCE Word Cloud

Monthly National-level Free-text ESSENCE Queries

Analysts can exercise a high level of customization by using free-text queries. They can quickly code free-text queries and rapidly respond to outbreaks, disasters, and health events that unfold. These word clouds capture free-text queries from a national perspective.

Jan 2022 ESSENCE Word Cloud

Developing Syndrome Definitions

NSSP works with health departments, CDC programs, and others to develop and improve syndrome definitions. Here is a list of the syndromes being worked on now.

Mark Your Calendar

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The NSSP CoP Call Calendar lists the monthly NSSP Community of Practice call and subcommittee/group meetings. The CoP Call Calendar is maintained by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE).
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The monthly patching schedule for Testing/Development and Onboarding/Production environments is posted in Technical Updates.