Using Dashboards to Present NSSP Data

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Connecting public health data to protect the health of every American community

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CDC-Developed Dashboards

CDC COVID Data Tracker is CDC’s home for COVID-19 data. Interactive maps, charts, and other visuals show surveillance data from across the response, including hospitalizations, vaccinations, demographic information, and daily and cumulative case and death counts reported to CDC since January 21, 2020. The tracker follows the burden of COVID-19 among healthcare personnel and across multiple Health Care Settings, including trends in U.S. emergency department visits (NSSP data).

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The CDC DOSE system analyzes data from syndromic surveillance systems to rapidly identify outbreaks and provide situational awareness of changes in drug overdose-related emergency department visits at local, state, and regional levels. DOSE uses near real-time syndromic data captured by health departments to gather aggregate data on emergency department visits involving suspected all drug, all opioid, heroin, and all stimulant overdoses. Aggregate data include demographic characteristics of those who overdosed, such as sex, age, and county of patient residence.

Overdose Data to Action (OD2A)
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OD2A supports public health jurisdictions in collecting high quality, comprehensive, and timely data on nonfatal and fatal overdoses and in using those data to inform prevention and response efforts.

Extreme heat events threaten public health. The CDC Heat and Health Tracker displays NSSP data (rate of emergency department visits) associated with health-related illness per 100,000 emergency department visits by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services region for the selected week.

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Tick bites can lead to many diseases of public health concern. The Tick Bite Tracker uses NSSP data to display tick bites by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services region, week/month, and age/sex. Updated weekly, these data can indicate when people in different parts of the country are at greatest risk for tick bites.

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Partner-Developed Dashboards

Data from the National Syndromic Surveillance Program are shown by U.S. Health and Human Services region on the American College of Emergency Physician’s website. The visualizations show total emergency department visits, COVID-like illness visits, and influenza-like illness visits. Data are updated weekly.

Dashboard excerpt reproduced by permission from the American College of Emergency Physicians (July 2022).

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State and Local Dashboards (and Reports)

Behavioral Health

  • Public Health–Seattle & King County monitors behavioral health needs and services as part of an evaluation of the impacts of COVID-19. This includes a dashboard of emergency department (ED) visits involving suicidal ideation or attempt among King County, WA, residents. Public Health–Seattle & King County also has a Family Violence dashboard that tracks emergency department visits involving suspected child abuse/neglect and domestic violence.

Environmental Health

  • Maine Tracking Network includes a comprehensive data portal of public health indicators, including dashboards that use NSSP data: Tracking Cold-Related Illness, Tracking Heat Illness, and Tracking Tickborne Diseases. (Note. Maine’s dashboard and surveillance activities were featured in the August 2021 NSSP Community of Practice call “All-Hazards Approach to Syndromic Surveillance.” These calls feature the nation’s best practices for using near real-time data, pairing complementary data to better understand health events and threats, and sharing information publicly to improve people’s health.)
  • Virginia Department of Health produces the Virginia Heat-Related Illness Surveillance dashboard. Virginia monitors emergency department (ED) and urgent care visits for heat-related illness from May through September each year (2015–present). The dashboard displays daily ED visits for heat-related illness and visualizations for visits by patient city/county, age, and sex.

Infectious Diseases

  • Arizona provides a dashboard of Hospital COVID-like and Influenza-like Illness Surveillance. Syndromic surveillance detects key terms and codes within the electronic health record: chief complaint field (patient’s reason for visit), discharge diagnosis field (codes for final diagnosis when patient is released), and specific free-text fields.
  • Minnesota developed a comprehensive Weekly COVID-19 Report to support emergency response efforts that includes syndromic data (see example).
  • Public Health–Seattle & King County use a dashboard to display emergency department visits and hospitalizations for COVID-like illness and pneumonia.

Mental Health

  • North Carolina collects near real-time emergency department data via NC DETECT (https://ncdetect.org). The state’s Mental Health Dashboard uses these data to track ED visits for select mental health-related conditions (anxiety, depression, self-inflicted injury, suicidal ideation, trauma/stressors) and provides links to other sources of mental health data. Users can view county-level ED visit trends by gender, age group, race, ethnicity, and more.
  • The Tri-County Health Department (Colorado) Syndromic Surveillance Program works closely with internal programs to support local prevention efforts and interventions. They developed a Mental Health dashboard to show syndromic surveillance trends and other data sets. The dashboards are used by partner organizations and hospitals.

Opioids/Overdoses

  • Arizona displays an Opioid Prevention dashboard of Emergency and Inpatient Visits for Suspected Drug Overdoses. The interactive dashboard lets users view data by visit year, visit type (emergency department and inpatient), and drug category (all suspected, heroin, opioid, or stimulant) and view total visits involving all suspected drug overdoses by month.
  • Illinois Department of Public Health provides an Opioid Data Dashboardthat draws from NSSP and other sources. The dashboard shows mortality and morbidity trends, prescription opioid patterns, Medication Assisted Recovery (MAR) coverage, Naloxone distribution trends, monthly county-level ED overdoses (by recent year), and all drug overdose mortality data (from the Statewide Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System [SUDORS]).
  • Maine’s dashboards use near real-time data to display demographics of Confirmed Drug Deaths, providing a multifaceted picture of the drug overdose crisis.
  • Minnesota provides a Syndromic Surveillance Drug Overdose Dashboard to monitor and identify trends for unintentional and undetermined suspected drug overdoses by week.
  • The Tri-County Health Department (Colorado) Syndromic Surveillance Program works closely with internal programs to support local prevention efforts and interventions. They developed a Substance Abuse Dashboard to show syndromic surveillance trends and other data sets. The dashboards are used by partner organizations and hospitals.
  • Virginia Department of Health provides a data portal on Opioid Indicators–Emergency Department Visits. The portal displays emergency department visit counts and rates among residents who sought emergency department care for unintentional overdose (all drugs, opioids, heroin).

Overall Data

  • North Carolina collects near real-time emergency department data via NC DETECT (https://ncdetect.org), which are also displayed in its Annual ED Visit Trends Users can view county-level ED visit trends by gender, age group, race, ethnicity, and more.
  • Tri-County Health Department (Colorado) displays syndromic surveillance indicators on dashboards so that staff can readily spot anomalies or concerning trends in health indicators of interest.
  • Washington State Department of Health collects near real-time data via its Rapid Health Information NetwOrk (RHINO). RHINO integrates and shares NSSP data.

Reports

  • Georgia maintains Drug Overdose Syndromic Surveillance Monthly Reports that show patient emergency department visits by county, percent change in those areas, overdose emergency department visits by month, demographics, and opioid- and heroin overdose emergency department visits.
  • Maricopa County (Arizona) develops Heat Associated Deaths and Hospital Visits weekly reports. Maricopa County contributes syndromic data to NSSP.
  • Minnesota provides a comprehensive weekly COVID-19 Report that included syndromic surveillance data. The Minnesota Department of Health integrates a variety of data sources (absenteeism, radiology, diagnostic labs, poison control, prescriptions, emergency department chief complaints, nurse call center, and over-the-counter sales) into customizable reports and dashboards.
  • Oregon Health Authority uses ESSENCE’s surveillance component to generate Hazard Reports. These reports pull near real-time data that public health practitioners and hospital staff can use to monitor what’s happening in emergency departments throughout the state (see example).
  • Virginia Department of Health provides monthly statistics and quarterly reports on emergency department visits for unintentional drug overdose among Virginia residents.
Page last reviewed: July 18, 2022