Free-Text Coding in ESSENCE


Syndromic surveillance depends heavily on sharing methods, and practitioners must understand the language. Free-text coding in ESSENCE, which is accessible to all users, follows distinct patterns. Learning to read these patterns allows users to take queries from many places and repurpose them to suit their unique needs. This series offers tips to empower users to customize queries to fit their level of data, ensuring accurate results.

Free Text Coding blue fractal with white text

About the author

This series of articles is written by Senior Data Analyst Zachary Stein, who does epidemiological work to support NSSP efforts. Stein is an active participant in our NSSP Community of Practice (CoP). He initially wrote about free-text coding as an entry on the NSSP-CoP Syndrome Definition Committee forum. The forum generated considerable interest, inspiring this series. Stein acknowledges input provided by others who contributed to the forum post.

In addition to exploring this series, you can also download the Query Development Job Aid.