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The documents below provide guidance on sound surveillance methods that can foster consistency in practice and can result in data that are more accurate and comparable. They are arranged by the general categories for conducting surveillance, evaluating programs or surveillance systems, and standardizing data.

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Conducting Surveillance

How to conduct surveillance for topics such as data analysis, interpretation, and dissemination, and linking with public health action.

Chronic Disease

  • Design and Operation of the National Asthma Survey

    Details procedural information on a unique source of asthma data, the National Asthma Survey (NAS). Includes description of methods including questionnaire design and implementation, data collection, and quality control of data.


Emergency Response and Preparedness

Health-Related Quality of Life

Infectious Disease


  • Injury Surveillance Guidelines [WHO/CDC]Practical advice on how to develop information systems for the collection of systematic data on injuries (particularly in resource-poor settings). Describes how to set up systems for collecting, coding, and processing data even if there is no electronic equipment, few staff, and/or inexperienced staff.
  • Injury Surveillance Training Manual (Instructor Guide and Participant Guide)
    Steps needed to establish and maintain an injury surveillance system; provides information on designing and monitoring prevention activities; and offers guidance for making informed decisions about injury prevention. Designed primarily for professionals who develop or operate surveillance systems and conduct prevention activities in less-resourced countries.
  • National Violent Death Reporting System Coding Manual (NVDRS)Used as a reference by state health departments for defining cases, entering data, and checking data once it is entered. Contains information about individual variables and the way the data are structured. Manual is intended to be used in conjunction with the materials provided at the coding training and the NVDRS Software Manual. It should be kept at hand when doing data entry or checking, both in the office and in the field.
  • Recommended Actions to Improve External-Cause-of-Injury Coding in State-Based Hospital Discharge and Emergency Department Data SystemsSummarizes potential collaborative action steps for CDC and its partners to improve E-coding in state morbidity data systems, with implications for improving federal morbidity data systems.

Maternal and Child Health

Evaluating Surveillance Systems

How to carry out systematic evaluation of surveillance systems to ensure that problems of public health importance are being monitored efficiently and effectively.


Standardizing Data

How to improve quality of data through standardization of case definitions and how to develop and collect data for indicators.

Case Definitions

Indicator Development

  • Environmental Public Health Indicators

    Need-based, flexible framework to assist the states in meeting Healthy People 2010 objectives and to provide a foundation for developing environmental public health surveillance.

  • Indicators for Chronic Disease Surveillance

    Latest revisions to the set of 92 chronic disease indicators; includes 63 indicators that were unchanged from the first edition, six that have been revised, and 23 that are new.

  • Indicators for Occupational Health Surveillance

    Introduction to occupational health indicators and CSTE’s approach to developing this new occupational health surveillance tool, which helps collect and generate important, basic information concerning the occupational health status of the state population and identify areas in which to focus prevention efforts.

Internal Classification of Diseases

  • International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM)

    This 2011 update is being published by the United States Government in recognition of its responsibility to promulgate this classification throughout the United States for morbidity coding. The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision (ICD-10), published by the World Health Organization (WHO), is the foundation of ICD-10-CM. ICD-10 continues to be the classification used in cause-of-death coding in the United States.