Surveillance for acute respiratory infections: should we include all outpatient visits or focus on urgent care areas?


A comprehensive electronic medical record (EMR) represents a rich source of information that can be harnessed for epidemic surveillance. At this time, however, we do not know how EMR-based data elements should be combined to improve the performance of surveillance systems. In a manual EMR review of over 15 000 outpatient encounters, we observed that two-thirds of the cases with an acute respiratory infection (ARI) were seen in the emergency room or other urgent care areas, but that these areas received only 15% of total outpatient visits. Because of this seemingly favorable signal-to-noise ratio, we hypothesized that an ARI surveillance system that focused on urgent visits would outperform one that monitored all outpatient visits.


Primary Topic Areas: 
Original Publication Year: 
Event/Publication Date: 
December, 2010

June 27, 2019

Contact Us

National Syndromic
Surveillance Program

The National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) is a collaboration among states and public health jurisdictions that contribute data to the BioSense Platform, public health practitioners who use local syndromic surveillance systems, Center for Disease Control and Prevention programs, other federal agencies, partner organizations, hospitals, healthcare professionals, and academic institutions.

Site created by Fusani Applications