Evaluation of EpiNorth3: a unique infectious disease surveillance system, Public Health England North East
PHE ePoster Library. Bagnall H. 04/10/19; 257491; 15367
Helen Bagnall
Helen Bagnall
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Abstract Background:
Public Health England North East uses a unique surveillance and exceedance alert system, EpiNorth3, for monitoring clinical and laboratory-confirmed cases of infectious diseases, and their associated exposures. While there was anecdotal evidence of the system's usefulness, we undertook an evaluation to assess the system attributes, usefulness and resources required to inform how the system is used and developed in the future.
We extracted EpiNorth3 records from 2013 to 2017. We assessed completeness, content validity, and timeliness as the proportion of key complete fields, chronologically consistent dates, and cases notified to EHOs within one day of report respectively. We assessed self-reported attitudes to usefulness using a pre-piloted online questionnaire, and asked system support staff to determine resources used. Qualitative responses were summarised using percentages and described by theme..
Completeness of sex, personal identifier and date of birth fields was 99.99%, 99.02% and 100% respectively. Proportion of valid time intervals between onset date and notification was 99.98%. 86.47% of notifications to EHOs were within one day. EpiNorth3 requires an additional 2.8 whole time equivalent information assistants. Users reported the usefulness of routine automated real-time exceedance alerts and automated exposure exceedance reports to promptly identify clusters of cases that may require further investigation. Conclusion EpiNorth3 is a useful surveillance system that provides real-time exceedance reporting and good quality timely surveillance data for public health action. EpiNorth3 maximises utilisation of routinely collected surveillance data, and while it requires additional information staff to input data, it eliminates or reduces time epidemiology staff spend producing manual reports and reviewing information. We recommend that automated functions such as exposure reporting and exceedance alerts, with linking to reference laboratory datasets, be considered in new and existing systems in order to improve the efficiency of reviewing routinely collected surveillance information.
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