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1.  National Collegiate Athletic Association Injury Surveillance System Commentaries: Introduction and Methods 
Journal of Athletic Training  2007;42(2):173-182.
Objective: To describe the history and methods of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Injury Surveillance System (ISS) as a complement to the sport-specific chapters that follow.
Background: The NCAA has maintained the ISS for intercollegiate athletics since 1982. The primary goal of the ISS is to collect injury and exposure data from a representative sample of NCAA institutions in a variety of sports. Relevant data are then shared with the appropriate NCAA sport and policy committees to provide a foundation for evidence-based decision making with regard to health and safety issues.
Description: The ISS monitors formal team activities, numbers of participants, and associated time-loss athletic injuries from the first day of formal preseason practice to the final postseason contest for 16 collegiate sports. In this special issue of the Journal of Athletic Training, injury information in 15 collegiate sports from the period covering 1988–1989 to 2003–2004 is evaluated.
Conclusions: Athletic trainers and the NCAA have collaborated for 25 years through the NCAA ISS to create the largest ongoing collegiate sports injury database in the world. Data collection through the ISS, followed by annual review via the NCAA sport rules and sports medicine committee structure, is a unique mechanism that has led to significant advances in health and safety policy within and beyond college athletics. The publication of this special issue and the evolution of an expanded Web-based ISS enhance the opportunity to apply the health and safety decision-making process at the level of the individual athletic trainer and institution.
PMCID: PMC1941300  PMID: 21714302
athletics; sports; exposures; athletic injuries; injury mechanisms; injury rates; injury surveillance; practices; games
2.  Establishing a national influenza sentinel surveillance system in a limited resource setting, experience of Sierra Leone 
Acute respiratory infections remain a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Sierra Leone; however, similar to other African countries, little is known regarding the contribution of influenza. Routine influenza surveillance is thus a key element to improve understanding of the burden of acute respiratory infections in Africa. In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) funded the Strengthening Influenza Sentinel Surveillance in Africa (SISA) project with the goal of developing and strengthening influenza surveillance in eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Sierra Leone. This paper describes the process of establishing a functional Influenza Sentinel Surveillance (ISS) system in Sierra Leone, a post-conflict resource-poor country previously lacking an influenza monitoring system.
Sierra Leone utilized a systematic approach, including situational assessment, selection of sentinel sites, preparation of implementation plan, adaptation of the standard operating procedures, supervision and training of staff, and monitoring of influenza surveillance activities. The methods used in Sierra Leone were adapted to its specific context, using the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) strategy as a platform for establishing ISS.
The ISS system started functioning in August 2011 with subsequent capacity to contribute surveillance activity data to global influenza databases, FluID and FluNet, demonstrating a functional influenza surveillance system in Sierra Leone within the period of the WHO SISA project support. Several factors were necessary for successful implementation, including a systematic approach, national ownership, appropriate timing and external support.
The WHO SISA project demonstrated the feasibility of building a functional influenza surveillance system in Sierra Leone, integrated into existing national IDSR system. The ISS system, if sustained long-term, would provide valuable data to determine epidemiological and virological patterns and seasonal trends to assess the influenza disease burden that will ultimately guide national control strategies.
PMCID: PMC3694480  PMID: 23800108
3.  Validity of Soccer Injury Data from the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Injury Surveillance System 
Journal of Athletic Training  2011;46(5):489-499.
Few validation studies of sport injury-surveillance systems are available.
To determine the validity of a Web-based system for surveillance of collegiate sport injuries, the Injury Surveillance System (ISS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA).
Validation study comparing NCAA ISS data from 2 fall collegiate sports (men's and women's soccer) with other types of clinical records maintained by certified athletic trainers.
A purposive sample of 15 NCAA colleges and universities that provided NCAA ISS data on both men's and women's soccer for at least 2 years during 2005–2007, stratified by playing division.
Patients or Other Participants:
A total of 737 men's and women's soccer athletes and 37 athletic trainers at these 15 institutions.
Main Outcome Measure(s):
The proportion of injuries captured by the NCAA ISS (capture rate) was estimated by comparing NCAA ISS data with the other clinical records on the same athletes maintained by the athletic trainers. We reviewed all athletic injury events resulting from participation in NCAA collegiate sports that resulted in 1 day or more of restricted activity in games or practices and necessitated medical care. A capture-recapture analysis estimated the proportion of injury events captured by the NCAA ISS. Agreement for key data fields was also measured.
We analyzed 664 injury events. The NCAA ISS captured 88.3% (95% confidence interval = 85.9%, 90.8%) of all time-lost medical-attention injury events. The proportion of injury events captured by the NCAA ISS was higher in Division I (93.8%) and Division II (89.6%) than in Division III (82.3%) schools. Agreement between the NCAA ISS data and the non–NCAA ISS data was good for the majority of data fields but low for date of full return and days lost from sport participation.
The overall capture rate of the NCAA ISS was very good (88%) in men's and women's soccer for this period.
PMCID: PMC3418955  PMID: 22488136
capture-recapture analysis; injury epidemiology; time loss; collegiate athletes
4.  Childhood falls: characteristics, outcome, and comparison of the Injury Severity Score and New Injury Severity Score 
Emergency Medicine Journal : EMJ  2006;23(7):540-545.
The aim of this study was to determine the general characteristics of childhood falls, factors affecting on mortality, and to compare the Injury Severity Score (ISS) and the New Injury Severity Score (NISS) as predictors of mortality and length of hospital stay in childhood falls.
We retrospectively analysed over a period of 8 years children aged younger than14 years who had sustained falls and who were admitted to our emergency department. Data on the patients' age, sex, type of fall, height fallen, arrival type, type of injuries, scoring systems, and outcome were investigated retrospectively. The ISS and NISS were calculated for each patient. Comparisons between ISS and NISS for prediction of mortality were made by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve and Hosmer‐Lemeshow (HL) goodness of fit statistics.
In total, there were 2061 paediatric trauma patients. Falls comprised 36 (n = 749) of these admissions. There were 479 male and 270 female patients. The mean (SD) age was 5.01 (3.48) years, and height fallen was 3.8 (3) metres. Over half (56.6%) of patients were referred by other centres. The most common type of fall was from balconies (38.5%), and head trauma was the most common injury (50%). The overall mortality rate was 3.6%. The cut off value for both the ISS and NISS in predicting mortality was 22 (sensitivity 90.5%, specificity 95.4% for ISS; sensitivity 100%, specificity 88.7% for NISS) (p>0.05). Significant factors affecting mortality in logistic regression analysis were Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) <9, ISS >22, and NISS >22. There were no significant differences in ROC between three scoring systems. The HL statistic showed poorer calibration (p = 0.02 v p = 0.37, respectively) of the NISS compared with the ISS.
In our series, the head was the most frequent site of injury, and the most common type of fall was from balconies. Scores on the GCS, NISS, and ISS are significantly associated with mortality. The performance of the NISS and ISS in predicting mortality in childhood falls was similar.
PMCID: PMC2579549  PMID: 16794098
childhood falls; injury severity score; new injury severity score; mortality
5.  The development of an evaluation framework for injury surveillance systems 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:260.
Access to good quality information from injury surveillance is essential to develop and monitor injury prevention activities. To determine if information obtained from surveillance is of high quality, the limitations and strengths of a surveillance system are often examined. Guidelines have been developed to assist in evaluating certain types of surveillance systems. However, to date, no standard guidelines have been developed to specifically evaluate an injury surveillance system. The aim of this research is to develop a framework to guide the evaluation of injury surveillance systems.
The development of an Evaluation Framework for Injury Surveillance Systems (EFISS) involved a four stage process. First, a literature review was conducted to identify an initial set of characteristics that were recognised as important and/or had been recommended to be assessed in an evaluation of a surveillance system. Second, this set of characteristics was assessed using SMART criteria. Third, those surviving were presented to an expert panel using a two round modified-Delphi study to gain an alternative perspective on characteristic definitions, practicality of assessment, and characteristic importance. Finally, a rating system was created for the EFISS characteristics.
The resulting EFISS consisted of 18 characteristics that assess three areas of an injury surveillance system – five characteristics assess data quality, nine characteristics assess the system's operation, and four characteristics assess the practical capability of an injury surveillance system. A rating system assesses the performance of each characteristic.
The development of the EFISS builds upon existing evaluation guidelines for surveillance systems and provides a framework tailored to evaluate an injury surveillance system. Ultimately, information obtained through an evaluation of an injury data collection using the EFISS would be useful for agencies to recommend how a collection could be improved to increase its usefulness for injury surveillance and in the long-term injury prevention.
PMCID: PMC2731099  PMID: 19627617
6.  Is the HIV sentinel surveillance system adequate in China? Findings from an evaluation of the national HIV sentinel surveillance system 
An external evaluation was conducted to assess the performance of the national HIV sentinel surveillance system (HSS), identify operational challenges at national and local levels and provide recommendations for improvement.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Updated Guidelines for Evaluating Public Health Surveillance Systems were followed to assess the key attributes of HSS. Comprehensive assessment activities were conducted, including: using a detailed checklist to review surveillance guidelines, protocols and relevant documents; conducting self-administered, anonymous surveys with 286 local China CDC staff; and carrying out field observations in 32 sentinel sites in four provinces.
China has built an extensive HSS with 1888 sentinel sites to monitor HIV epidemic trends by population groups over time. The strengths of HSS lie in its flexibility, simplicity, usefulness and increase in coverage in locations and populations. With its rapid expansion in 2010, HSS faces challenges in maintaining acceptability, timeliness, data quality, representativeness and sustainability.
Implementation of the national guidelines should be standardized by strengthening training, monitoring and supervision of all staff involved, including community-based organizations. National surveillance guidelines need to be revised to strengthen data quality and representativeness, particularly to include specific instructions on HIV testing result provision, collection of identifying information, sample size and sampling methods particularly for men who have sex with men (MSM), collection of refusal information, and data interpretation. Sustainability of China’s HSS could be strengthened by applying locally tailored surveillance strategies, strengthening coordination and cooperation among government agencies and ensuring financial and human resources.
PMCID: PMC3729100  PMID: 23908946
7.  Evaluation of the Outcome of Traumatic Thoracic Aortic Rupture in Patients in a Trauma and Critical Care Center 
Annals of Vascular Diseases  2013;6(1):33-38.
Objectives: Multiple injuries may lead to traumatic thoracic aortic rupture (TTAR), which can be fatal. We evaluated the relationship between the clinical findings and outcomes of 26 patients with TTAR who were treated at our institution.
Methods: A total of 26 patients (men, 21; women, 5; average age, 45.8 ± 19.6 years) with a diagnosis of TTAR received from 1999 to 2009 were studied. We categorized patients into groups based on the outcome (survival or death) and investigated the relationship between the outcome and the following factors: injury mechanism, vital signs, other combined injuries, injury severity score (ISS), revised trauma score, and probability of survival (Ps).
Results: Of the 26 TTAR patients, 7 underwent emergency operations, 5 underwent delayed operations, 1 received conservative treatment, and 13 suffered cardiopulmonary arrest immediately after consultation and died. Of the 13 patients who died, 11 died within 2 hours after injury because of bleeding. Two of the 7 patients who underwent emergency operations died within 1 day of consultation, whereas all those who underwent delayed operations survived. Patients who underwent TTAR repair had a relatively favorable outcome. Analysis of the relationship between the clinical data and outcome showed that a young age was significantly correlated with survival, and that the Glasgow coma scale (GCS), heart rate, respiratory rate, or occurrence of shock were not significantly related to the outcome. The abbreviated injury scale (AIS) was used to score the severity of multiple injuries, and ISS was calculated from the AIS score. ISS was significantly higher in the death group (P = 0.007). ISS did not significantly differ among body parts (P = 0.077), but ISS of the extremities was higher than those of other parts. Pelvic fractures were frequent in the death group. Our strategy, whereby the patient initially underwent pelvic external fixation followed by TTAR repair was found to be very effective. The P-values calculated by the trauma and injury severity score method were significantly higher in the survival group (both, P = 0.007).
Conclusion: To treat TTAR, it is important to accurately evaluate the damage due to multiple injuries and apply an appropriate treatment strategy. Immediate repair of TTAR after bleeding due to combined injury improves the outcome. (English Translation of Jpn J Vasc Surg 2012; 21:5-9)
PMCID: PMC3634997  PMID: 23641281
aortic rupture; multiple trauma; vascular surgery
8.  Dynamic changes of serum cholinesterase activity after severe trauma*  
Objective: The aim of the present study was to examine dynamic changes in serum cholinesterase (ChE) activity during early-stage severe trauma and the clinical significance of these changes. Methods: This prospective, observational study included 81 patients with severe trauma who were treated between October 2011 and April 2013 in the emergency intensive care unit (EICU) of a university-affiliated, tertiary-care, grade A general hospital in China. Serum ChE activity was measured on Days 1, 3, and 7 post-injury. The correlation of dynamic changes in serum ChE activity with trauma severity and prognosis was assessed. Correlations between changes in serum ChE activity after injury and albumin (ALB), prealbumin (PAB), transferrin (TRF), and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were also analyzed. Results: Serum ChE activity in trauma patients was 42.3%–50.2% lower on Days 1, 3, and 7 compared with the control (P<0.001 for all time points), and it continued to decrease after Day 7 in both the survival and death subgroups. In the subgroup with an injury severity score (ISS) of ≤25, serum ChE activity initially decreased, but eventually increased. However, activity decreased continuously in the ISS>25 subgroup. ChE activity was significantly lower in both the death and the ISS>25 subgroups than in the survival and ISS≤25 subgroups on Days 1, 3, and 7 after injury. Activity was negatively correlated with ISS and acute physiology and chronic health evaluation III (APACHE III) at all time points. When comparing the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves for predicting prognosis, the area under the curve (AUC) in the plot of serum ChE was similar to the AUCs in plots of ISS and APACHE III, but significantly smaller than the AUC in the plot of the trauma and injury severity score (TRISS). Serum ChE activity was positively correlated with ALB, PAB, and TRF at all time points post-injury. Activity was not significantly correlated with CRP on Day 1, but was significantly and negatively correlated with CRP on Days 3 and 7. Conclusions: There is a significant decrease in serum ChE activity after severe trauma. Serum ChE may be regarded as a negative acute phase protein (APP) and the dynamic changes in serum ChE may be useful as an auxiliary indicator for evaluating trauma severity and predicting prognosis.
PMCID: PMC4265556  PMID: 25471831
Multiple trauma; Cholinesterase (ChE); Acute phase protein
9.  A Guide for Health Professionals Working with Aboriginal Peoples: Executive Summary 
to provide Canadian health professionals with a network of information and recommendations regarding Aboriginal health.
health professionals working with Aboriginal individuals and communities in the area of women’s health care.
improved health status of Aboriginal peoples in Canada.
Appropriateness and accessibility of women’s health services for Aboriginal peoples.
Improved communication and clinical skills of health professionals in the area of Aboriginal health.
Improved quality of relationship between health professionals and Aboriginal individuals and communities.
Improved quality of relationship between health care professionals and Aboriginal individuals and communities.
recommendations are based on expert opinion and a review of the literature. Published references were identified by a Medline search of all review articles, randomized clinical control trials, meta-analyses, and practice guidelines from 1966 to February 1999, using the MeSH headings “Indians, North American or Eskimos” and “Health.”* Subsequently published articles were brought to the attention of the authors in the process of writing and reviewing the document. Ancillary and unpublished references were recommended by members of the SOGC Aboriginal Health Issues Committee and the panel of expert reviewers.
information collected was reviewed by the principal author. The social, cultural, political, and historic context of Aboriginal peoples in Canada, systemic barriers regarding the publication of information by Aboriginal authors, the diversity of Aboriginal peoples in Canada, and the need for a culturally appropriate and balanced presentation were carefully considered in addition to more traditional scientific evaluation. The majority of information collected consisted of descriptive health and social information and such evaluation tools as the evidence guidelines of the Canadian Task Force on the Periodic Health exam were not appropriate.
Benefits, costs, and harms
utilization of the information and recommendations by Canadian health professionals will enhance understanding, communication, and clinical skills in the area of Aboriginal health. The resulting enhancement of collaborative relationships between Aboriginal peoples and their women’s health providers may contribute to health services that are more appropriate, effective, efficient, and accessible for Aboriginal peoples in Canada. The educational process may require an initial investment of time from the health professional.
Recommendations were grouped according to four themes: sociocultural context, health concerns, cross-cultural understanding, and Aboriginal health resources. Health professionals are encouraged to learn the appropriate names, demographics, and traditional geographic territories and language groups of the various Aboriginal groups in Canada. In addition, sensitivity to the impact of colonization and current socioeconomic challenges to the health status of Aboriginal peoples is warranted. Health services for Aboriginal peoples should take place as close to home as possible. Governmental obligations and policies regarding determination are recognized. With respect to health concerns, holistic definitions of health, based on Aboriginal perspectives, are put forward. Aboriginal peoples continue to experience a disproportionate burden of health problems. Health professionals are encouraged to become familiar with several key areas of morbidity and mortality. Relationships between Aboriginal peoples and their care providers need to be based on a foundation of mutual respect. Gaps and barriers in the current health care system for Aboriginal peoples are identified. Health professionals are encouraged to work with Aboriginal individuals and communities to address these gaps and barriers. Aboriginal peoples require culturally appropriate health care, including treatment in their own languages when possible. This may require interpreters or Aboriginal health advocates. Health professionals are encouraged to recognize the importance of family and community roles, and to respect traditional medicines and healers. Health professionals can develop their sensitivities towards Aboriginal peoples by participating in workshops, making use of educational resources, and by spending time with Aboriginal peoples in their communities. Aboriginal communities and health professionals are encouraged to support community-based, community-directed health services and health research for Aboriginal peoples. In addition, the education of more Aboriginal health professionals is essential. The need for a preventative approach to health programming in Aboriginal communities is stressed.
recommendations were reviewed and revised by the SOGC Aboriginal Health Issues Committee, a panel of expert reviewers, and the SOGC Council. In addition, this document was also reviewed and supported by the Assembly of First Nations, Canadian Institute of Child Health, Canadian Paediatric Society, College of Family Physicians of Canada, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, Federation of Medical Women of Canada, Inuit Tapirisat of Canada, Metis National Council, National Indian and Inuit Community Health Representatives Organization, and Pauktuutit Inuit Women’s Association.
Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.
PMCID: PMC3653835  PMID: 23682204 CAMSID: cams2752
10.  Rapid Emergency Medicine Score (REMS) in the trauma population: a retrospective study 
BMJ Open  2014;4(5):e004738.
Rapid Emergency Medicine Score (REMS) is an attenuated version of the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II score and has utility in predicting mortality in non-surgical patients, but has yet to be tested among the trauma population. The objective was to evaluate REMS as a risk stratification tool for predicting in-hospital mortality in traumatically injured patients and to compare REMS accuracy in predicting mortality to existing trauma scores, including the Revised Trauma Score (RTS), Injury Severity Score (ISS) and Shock Index (SI).
Design and setting
Retrospective chart review of the trauma registry from an urban academic American College of Surgeons (ACS) level 1 trauma centre.
3680 patients with trauma aged 14 years and older admitted to the hospital over a 4-year period. Patients transferred from other hospitals were excluded from the study as were those who suffered from burn or drowning-related injuries. Patients with vital sign documentation insufficient to calculate an REMS score were also excluded.
Primary outcome measures
The predictive ability of REMS was evaluated using ORs for in-hospital mortality. The discriminate power of REMS, RTS, ISS and SI was compared using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve.
Higher REMS was associated with increased mortality (p<0.0001). An increase of 1 point in the 26-point REMS scale was associated with an OR of 1.51 for in-hospital death (95% CI 1.45 to 1.58). REMS (area under the curve (AUC) 0.91±0.02) was found to be similar to RTS (AUC 0.89±0.04) and superior to ISS (AUC 0.87±0.01) and SI (AUC 0.55±0.31) in predicting in-hospital mortality.
In the trauma population, REMS appears to be a simple, accurate predictor of in-hospital mortality. While REMS performed similarly to RTS in predicting mortality, it did outperform other traditionally used trauma scoring systems, specifically ISS and SI.
PMCID: PMC4024603  PMID: 24793256
Injury Severity Score (ISS); Rapid Emergency Medicine Score (REMS); Revised Trauma Score (RTS); Trauma; Triage; Shock Index (SI)
11.  Evaluation of the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System for Dengue Fever in Taiwan, 2010–2012 
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases  2015;9(3):e0003639.
In Taiwan, around 1,500 cases of dengue fever are reported annually and incidence has been increasing over time. A national web-based Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NDSS) has been in operation since 1997 to monitor incidence and trends and support case and outbreak management. We present the findings of an evaluation of the NDSS to ascertain the extent to which dengue fever surveillance objectives are being achieved.
We extracted the NDSS data on all laboratory-confirmed dengue fever cases reported during 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2012 to assess and describe key system attributes based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveillance evaluation guidelines. The system’s structure and processes were delineated and operational staff interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. Crude and age-adjusted incidence rates were calculated and key demographic variables were summarised to describe reporting activity. Data completeness and validity were described across several variables.
Principal Findings
Of 5,072 laboratory-confirmed dengue fever cases reported during 2010–2012, 4,740 (93%) were reported during July to December. The system was judged to be simple due to its minimal reporting steps. Data collected on key variables were correctly formatted and usable in > 90% of cases, demonstrating good data completeness and validity. The information collected was considered relevant by users with high acceptability. Adherence to guidelines for 24-hour reporting was 99%. Of 720 cases (14%) recorded as travel-related, 111 (15%) had an onset >14 days after return, highlighting the potential for misclassification. Information on hospitalization was missing for 22% of cases. The calculated PVP was 43%.
The NDSS for dengue fever surveillance is a robust, well maintained and acceptable system that supports the collection of complete and valid data needed to achieve the surveillance objectives. The simplicity of the system engenders compliance leading to timely and accurate reporting. Completeness of hospitalization information could be further improved to allow assessment of severity of illness. To minimize misclassification, an algorithm to accurately classify travel cases should be established.
Author Summary
In Taiwan, around 1,500 cases of dengue fever are reported annually. Surveillance and outbreak preparedness are important activities aimed at reducing the burden of dengue fever worldwide. A national web-based Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NDSS) for dengue fever has been established since 1997 in Taiwan to monitor trends, and support case and outbreak management. We evaluated this surveillance system based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and operational staff interviews to ascertain the extent to which stated objectives are being achieved. The results indicate that the NDSS for dengue fever surveillance works well, is easy to use, and can be used to accurately identify cases. The findings have informed recommendations to improve surveillance and its use in outbreak response, including efforts to improve data completeness. Comprehensive surveillance exemplified by the NDSS for dengue fever in Taiwan is necessary for establishing a clear picture of the local burden and distribution of dengue fever to effectively support public health response.
PMCID: PMC4368052  PMID: 25794177
12.  Defining Public Health Situation Awareness – Outcomes and Metrics for Evaluation 
Review concept of situation awareness (SA) as it relates to public health surveillance, epidemiology and preparedness [1]. Outline hierarchical levels and organizational criteria for SA [2]. Initiate consensus building process aimed at developing a working definition and measurable outcomes and metrics for SA as they relate to syndromic surveillance practice and evaluation.
A decade ago, the primary objective of syndromic surveillance was bioterrorism and outbreak early event detection (EED) [3]. Syndromic systems for EED focused on rapid, automated data collection, processing and statistical anomaly detection of indicators of potential bioterrorism or outbreak events. The paradigm presented a clear and testable surveillance objective: the early detection of outbreaks or events of public health concern. Limited success in practice and limited rigorous evaluation, however, led to the conclusion that syndromic surveillance could not reliably or accurately achieve EED objectives. At the federal level, the primary rationale for syndromic surveillance shifted away from bioterrorism EED, and towards all-hazards biosurveillance and SA [4–6]. The shift from EED to SA occurred without a clear evaluation of EED objectives, and without a clear definition of the scope or meaning of SA in practice. Since public health SA has not been clearly defined in terms of operational surveillance objectives, statistical or epidemiological methods, or measurable outcomes and metrics, the use of syndromic surveillance to achieve SA cannot be evaluated.
This session is intended to provide a forum to discuss SA in the context of public health disease surveillance practice. The roundtable will focus on defining SA in the context of public health syndromic and epidemiologic surveillance. While SA is often noted in federal level documents as a primary rationale for biosurveillance [1, 4–6], it is rarely defined or described in operational detail. One working definition presents SA as “real-time analysis and display of health data to monitor the location, magnitude, and spread of an outbreak”, yet it does not elaborate on the methods, systems or evaluation requirements for SA in public health or biosurveillance [3]. In terms of translating SA into public health surveillance practice [1], we will discuss and define the requirements of public health SA based on its development and practice in other areas [2]. The proposed theoretical framework and evaluation criteria adapted and applied to public health SA [2] follow: - Level 1: Perceive relevant surveillance data and epidemiological information.- Level 2: Integrate surveillance and non-surveillance data in conjunction with operator goals to provide understanding of the meaning of the information.- Level 3: Through perceiving (Level 1) and integrating and understanding (Level 2) provide prediction of future events and system states to allow for timely and effective public health decision making.
Sample questions for discussion: What is the relevance of syndromic surveillance and biosurveillance in the SA framework? Where does it fit within the current public health surveillance environment? To achieve the roundtable discussion objectives, the participants will work towards a consensus definition of SA for public health, and will outline measureable outcomes and metrics for evaluation of syndromic surveillance for public health SA.
PMCID: PMC3692849
evaluation; biosurveillance; situational awareness; syndromic surveillance; local public health
13.  Hypertension guidelines and their effects on the health system 
Hypertension guidelines, which have existed for many years and primarily used in the USA, Canada and Great Britain, are now becoming an issue in Germany. Strong efforts are presently underway for a German version comparable to the guidelines developed for the mentioned countries. The development of guidelines is a part of the implementation system of guidelines in Germany. It covers the mode of operation of the AWMF (work community of the scientific medical subject companies) with the clearinghouse for guidelines (CLA) and the cooperation with the centre for medical quality (ÄZQ).
In the HTA report the real use of the hypertension guidelines shall be investigated for Germany from the development trends and further possibilities of use according to a medical applicability. Economic issues and an optimisation of use are also discussed.
The following questions shall be answered in particular:
How much are the guidelines used concerning hypertension? Can effects (or their influence) be established on the medical procedures? Are there statements available about costs and cost effectiveness? Are there recommendations for further use?
To answer these questions, a comprehensive literature search was done. No empirical investigation was carried out. From this enquiry 206 articles were checked in detail but not all of them were available in full text.
Only those publications which directly dealt with high blood pressure guidelines or articles with a direct reference to the topic have been considered in the HTA report.
Publications concerning screening or methods of prevention, medical studies of the hypertension syndrome without a direct reference to guidelines and publications concerned with putting guidelines into action were excluded.
After an analysis of the selected literature addressing the topic of hypertension guidelines, it was evident that the use of these guidelines cannot be gathered from existing literature at the present time. One can assume from international studies with analogical reasoning that these are confessed and have a high level of acceptance in the medical community. Unfortunately the actual usage is not represented satisfactorily in the scientific literature.
The effects of the guidelines on the medical procedures seem to be very strongly individual and the analyses to the compliance show at least an observable effect within the last few years. No publications could be found for the cost effectiveness of the guidelines.
The actual compliance with guidelines seems to be in relation with the duration of the professional practice. It seems the shorter the professional practice takes place, the stronger the guidelines are adhered.
At present, there are only a few notes for the German health service regarding the actual effect of the hypertonus guidelines. However, the reason is not that the effect would not be possibly strong but at the methodical challenge to evaluate the sustaining effects of the application of the hypertonus guidelines. For this reason the literature is very rare regarding this topic.
For Germany it can be derived by analogical reasoning from foreign studies that guidelines will facilitate a more and more essential contribution to the design of the health system. Considering that primarily younger physicians accepted guidelines mode, the further construction, update and implementation of guidelines are essential, particularly with regard to the quality assurance. Straight guidelines can express a standard of the quality of a health system as a benchmark. The existence of guidelines or the lack thereof is considered also as a quality indicator of a health system at the organisation for economic cooperation and development (OECD).
Guidelines should be evaluated - especially the hypertonus guideline. Also further development and implementation should be emphasised. Methodically oriented work to the approach is pretty recent.
It is undeniable that guidelines represent a very essential and important contribution for the successful dealing with significant morbidity problems in a health system.
The fact that primarily younger doctors more frequently adopt, employ and adhere to guidelines leads to the assumption that expected sustainability for practical use will increase. Furthermore intensified use of guidelines can be considered in the "mainstream" of the development of the public health system also in an international perspective.
Not one single publication contradicts that a further acquirement, update and distribution of guidelines for the use of practices is necessary. The importance of the guideline is also not questioned in any article.
PMCID: PMC3011314  PMID: 21289932
14.  Youth injury data in the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program: do they represent the Canadian experience? 
Injury Prevention  2000;6(1):9-15.
Objective—Injuries to Canadian youth (11–15 years) identified from a population based health survey (World Health Organization—Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children Survey, or WHO-HBSC) were compared with youth injuries from a national, emergency department based surveillance system. Comparisons focused on external causes of injury, and examined whether similar rankings of injury patterns and hence priorities for intervention were identified by the different systems.
Setting—The Canadian version of the WHO-HBSC was conducted in 1998. The Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP) is the national, emergency room based, surveillance program. Two hospitals involved in CHIRPP collectively provide population based data for Kingston, Ontario.
Method—Numbers of injuries selected for study varied by data source: WHO-HBSC (n=3673); CHIRPP (n=20 133); Kingston CHIRPP (n=1944). WHO-HBSC and Kingston CHIRPP records were coded according to four variables in the draft International Classification of External Causes of Injury. Existing CHIRPP codes were available to compare Kingston and other CHIRPP data by five variables. Males and females in the three datasets were ranked according to the external causes. Data classified by source and sex were compared using Spearman's rank correlation statistic.
Results—Rank orders of four variables describing external causes were remarkably similar between the WHO-HBSC and Kingston CHIRPP (ρ>0.78 p<0.004) for mechanism, object, location, and activity). The Kingston and other CHIRPP data were also similar (ρ>0.87; p<0.001) for the variables available to describe external causes of injury (including intent).
Conclusion—The two subsets of the CHIRPP data and the WHO-HBSC data identified similar priorities for injury prevention among young people. These findings indicate that CHIRPP may be representative of general youth injury patterns in Canada. Our study provides a novel and practical model for the validation of injury surveillance programs.
PMCID: PMC1730589  PMID: 10728534
15.  'In situ simulation' versus 'off site simulation' in obstetric emergencies and their effect on knowledge, safety attitudes, team performance, stress, and motivation: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2013;14:220.
Unexpected obstetric emergencies threaten the safety of pregnant women. As emergencies are rare, they are difficult to learn. Therefore, simulation-based medical education (SBME) seems relevant. In non-systematic reviews on SBME, medical simulation has been suggested to be associated with improved learner outcomes. However, many questions on how SBME can be optimized remain unanswered. One unresolved issue is how 'in situ simulation' (ISS) versus 'off site simulation' (OSS) impact learning. ISS means simulation-based training in the actual patient care unit (in other words, the labor room and operating room). OSS means training in facilities away from the actual patient care unit, either at a simulation centre or in hospital rooms that have been set up for this purpose.
Methods and design
The objective of this randomized trial is to study the effect of ISS versus OSS on individual learning outcome, safety attitude, motivation, stress, and team performance amongst multi-professional obstetric-anesthesia teams.
The trial is a single-centre randomized superiority trial including 100 participants. The inclusion criteria were health-care professionals employed at the department of obstetrics or anesthesia at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, who were working on shifts and gave written informed consent. Exclusion criteria were managers with staff responsibilities, and staff who were actively taking part in preparation of the trial. The same obstetric multi-professional training was conducted in the two simulation settings. The experimental group was exposed to training in the ISS setting, and the control group in the OSS setting. The primary outcome is the individual score on a knowledge test. Exploratory outcomes are individual scores on a safety attitudes questionnaire, a stress inventory, salivary cortisol levels, an intrinsic motivation inventory, results from a questionnaire evaluating perceptions of the simulation and suggested changes needed in the organization, a team-based score on video-assessed team performance and on selected clinical performance.
The perspective is to provide new knowledge on contextual effects of different simulation settings.
Trial registration NCT01792674.
PMCID: PMC3716971  PMID: 23870501
Simulation; In situ simulation; Randomized trial; Obstetric emergencies; Multi-professional education; Stress
16.  ACCISS study rationale and design: activating collaborative cancer information service support for cervical cancer screening 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:444.
High-quality cancer information resources are available but underutilized by the public. Despite greater awareness of the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service among low-income African Americans and Hispanics compared with Caucasians, actual Cancer Information Service usage is lower than expected, paralleling excess cancer-related morbidity and mortality for these subgroups. The proposed research examines how to connect the Cancer Information Service to low-income African-American and Hispanic women and their health care providers. The study will examine whether targeted physician mailing to women scheduled for colposcopy to follow up an abnormal Pap test can increase calls to the Cancer Information Service, enhance appropriate medical follow-up, and improve satisfaction with provider-patient communication.
The study will be conducted in two clinics in ethnically diverse low-income communities in Chicago. During the formative phase, patients and providers will provide input regarding materials planned for use in the experimental phase of the study. The experimental phase will use a two-group prospective randomized controlled trial design. African American and Hispanic women with an abnormal Pap test will be randomized to Usual Care (routine colposcopy reminder letter) or Intervention (reminder plus provider recommendation to call the Cancer Information Service and sample questions to ask). Primary outcomes will be: 1) calls to the Cancer Information Service; 2) timely medical follow-up, operationalized by whether the patient keeps her colposcopy appointment within six months of the abnormal Pap; and 3) patient satisfaction with provider-patient communication at follow-up.
The study examines the effectiveness of a feasible, sustainable, and culturally sensitive strategy to increase awareness and use of the Cancer Information Service among an underserved population. The goal of linking a public service (the Cancer Information Service) with real-life settings of practice (the clinics), and considering input from patients, providers, and Cancer Information Service staff, is to ensure that the intervention, if proven effective, can be incorporated into existing care systems and sustained. The approach to study design and planning is aimed at bridging the gap between research and practice/service.
Trial Registration
PMCID: PMC2790457  PMID: 19951443
17.  Influence of routine computed tomography on predicted survival from blunt thoracoabdominal trauma 
Many scoring systems have been proposed to predict the survival of trauma patients. This study was performed to evaluate the influence of routine thoracoabdominal computed tomography (CT) on the predicted survival according to the trauma injury severity score (TRISS).
Patients and methods
1,047 patients who had sustained a high-energy blunt trauma over a 3-year period were prospectively included in the study. All patients underwent physical examination, conventional radiography of the chest, thoracolumbar spine and pelvis, abdominal sonography, and routine thoracoabdominal CT. From this group with routine CT, we prospectively defined a selective CT (sub)group for cases with abnormal physical examination and/or conventional radiography and/or sonography. Type and extent of injuries were recorded for both the selective and the routine CT groups. Based on the injuries found by the two different CT algorithms, we calculated the injury severity scores (ISS) and predicted survivals according to the TRISS methodology for the routine and the selective CT algorithms.
Based on injuries detected by the selective CT algorithm, the mean ISS was 14.6, resulting in a predicted mortality of 12.5%. Because additional injuries were found by the routine CT algorithm, the mean ISS increased to 16.9, resulting in a predicted mortality of 13.7%. The actual observed mortality was 5.4%.
Routine thoracoabdominal CT in high-energy blunt trauma patients reveals more injuries than a selective CT algorithm, resulting in a higher ISS. According to the TRISS, this results in higher predicted mortalities. Observed mortality, however, was significantly lower than predicted. The predicted survival according to MTOS seems to underestimate the actual survival when routine CT is used.
PMCID: PMC3150811  PMID: 21837260
Trauma care; Trauma scoring; TRISS
18.  Characteristics of Pediatric Trauma Transfers to a Level I Trauma Center: Implications for Developing a Regionalized Pediatric Trauma System in California 
Since California lacks a state-wide trauma system, there are no uniform inter-facility pediatric trauma transfer guidelines across local emergency medical services (EMS) agencies in California. This may result in delays in obtaining optimal care for injured children.
This study sought to understand patterns of pediatric trauma patient transfers to the study trauma center as a first step in assessing the quality and efficiency of pediatric transfer within the current trauma system model. Outcome measures included clinical and demographic characteristics, distances travelled, and centers bypassed. The hypothesis was that transferred patients would be more severely injured than directly admitted patients, primary catchment transfers would be few, and out-of-catchment transfers would come from hospitals in close geographic proximity to the study center.
This was a retrospective observational analysis of trauma patients ≤18 years of age in the institutional trauma database (2000–2007). All patients with a trauma International Classification of Diseases – 9th revision (ICD-9) code and trauma mechanism who were identified as a trauma patient by EMS or emergency physicians were recorded in the trauma database, including those patients who were discharged home. Trauma patients brought directly to the emergency department (ED), and patients transferred from other facilities to the center, were compared. A geographic information system was used to calculate the straight-line distances from the referring hospitals to the study center, and to all closer centers potentially capable of accepting inter-facility pediatric trauma transfers.
Of 2,798 total subjects, 16.2% were transferred from other facilities within California; 69.8% of transfers were from the catchment area, with 23.0% transferred from facilities ≤10 miles from the center. This transfer pattern was positively associated with private insurance (risk ratio [RR] 2.05; p < 0.001), and negatively associated with age 15–18 years (RR 0.23; p = 0.01) and injury severity score (ISS)>18 (RR 0.26; p < 0.01). The out-of-catchment transfers accounted for 30.2% of the patients, and 75.9% of these non-catchment transfers were in closer proximity to another facility potentially capable of accepting pediatric inter-facility transfers. The overall median straight-line distance from non-catchment study hospitals to the study center was 61.2 miles (IQR 19.0–136.4), compared to 33.6 miles (interquartile range [IQR] 13.9–61.5) to the closest center. Transfer patients were more severely injured than directly admitted patients (p < 0.001). Out-of-catchment transfers were older than catchment patients (p < 0.001); ISS >18 (RR 2.06; p < 0.001) and age 15–18 (RR 1.28; p < 0.001) were predictive of out-of-catchment patients bypassing other pediatric-capable centers. Finally, 23.7% of pediatric trauma transfer requests to the study institution were denied due to lack of bed capacity.
From the perspective an adult Level I trauma center with a certified pediatric intensive care unit, delays in definitive pediatric trauma care appear to be present secondary to initial transport to non-trauma community hospitals within close proximity of a trauma hospital, long transfer distances to accepting facilities, and lack of capacity at the study center. Given the absence of uniform trauma triage and transfer guidelines across state EMS systems, there appears to be a role for quality monitoring and improvement of the current inter-facility pediatric trauma transfer system, including defined triage, transfer, and data collection protocols.
PMCID: PMC3059150  PMID: 21122022
19.  Epidemiology of workplace-related fall from height and cost of trauma care in Qatar 
This study was designed to identify the incidence, injury patterns, and actual medical costs of occupational-related falls in Qatar, in order to provide a reference for establishing fall prevention guidelines and recommendations.
Settings and Design:
Retrospective database registry review in Level 1 Trauma Center at Tertiary Hospital in Qatar.
Materials and Methods:
During a 12-month period between November 1st 2007 and October 31st 2008, construction workers who fell from height were enrolled. A database was designed to characterize demographics, injury severity score (ISS), total hospital length of stay, resource utilization, and cost of care.
Statistical Analysis:
Data were presented as proportions, mean ± standard deviation or median and range as appropriate. In addition, case fatality rate and cost analysis were obtained from the Biostatistics and finance departments of the same hospital.
There were 315 fall-related injuries, of which 298 were workplace related. The majority (97%) were male immigrants with mean age of 33 ± 11 years. The most common injuries were to the spine, head, and chest. Mean ISS was 16.4 ± 10. There was total of 29 deaths (17 pre-hospital and 12 in-hospital deaths) for a case fatality rate of 8.6%. Mean cost of care (rounded figures) included pre-hospital services Emergency Medical Services (EMS), trauma resuscitation room, radiology and imaging, operating room, intensive care unit care, hospital ward care, rehabilitation services, and total cost (123, 82, 105, 130, 496, 3048,434, and 4418 thousand United States Dollars (USD), respectively). Mean cost of care per admitted patient was approximately 16,000 USD.
Falling from height at a construction site is a common cause of trauma that poses a significant financial burden on the health care system. Injury prevention efforts are warranted along with strict regulation and enforcement of occupational laws.
PMCID: PMC3665115  PMID: 23724377
Cost of care; falls from height; Qatar; workplace
20.  Descriptive Epidemiology of Collegiate Women's Basketball Injuries: National Collegiate Athletic Association Injury Surveillance System, 1988–1989 Through 2003–2004 
Journal of Athletic Training  2007;42(2):202-210.
Objective: To review 16 years of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) injury surveillance data for women's basketball and to identify potential areas for injury prevention initiatives.
Background: The number of colleges participating in women's college basketball has grown over the past 25 years. The Injury Surveillance System (ISS) has enabled the NCAA to collect and report injury trends over an extended period of time. This has allowed certified athletic trainers and coaches to be more informed regarding injuries and to adjust training regimens to reduce the risk of injury. It also has encouraged administrators to make rule changes that attempt to reduce the risk of injury.
Main Results: From 1988–1989 through 2003–2004, 12.4% of schools across Divisions I, II, and III that sponsor varsity women's basketball programs participated in annual ISS data collection. Game and practice injury rates exhibited significant decreases over the study period. The rate of injury in a game situation was almost 2 times higher than in a practice (7.68 versus 3.99 injuries per 1000 athlete-exposures, rate ratio = 1.9, 95% confidence interval = 1.9, 2.0). Preseason-practice injury rates were more than twice as high as regular-season practice injury rates (6.75 versus 2.84 injuries per 1000 athlete-exposures, rate ratio = 2.4, 95% confidence interval = 2.2, 2.4). More than 60% of all game and practice injuries were to the lower extremity, with the most common game injuries being ankle ligament sprains, knee injuries (internal derangements and patellar conditions), and concussions. In practices, ankle ligament sprains, knee injuries (internal derangements and patellar conditions), upper leg muscle-tendon strains, and concussions were the most common injuries.
Recommendations: Appropriate preseason conditioning and an emphasis on proper training may reduce the risk of injury and can optimize performance. As both player size and the speed of the women's game continue to increase, basketball's evolution from a finesse sport to a high-risk contact sport also will continue. The rates of concussions and other high-energy trauma injuries likely will increase. The NCAA ISS is an excellent tool for identifying new risk factors that may affect injury rates and for developing consistent injury definitions in order to improve the research and provide a source of clinically relevant data.
PMCID: PMC1941290  PMID: 17710168
athletic injuries; injury prevention; ankle sprains; knee injuries; anterior cruciate ligament injuries; stress fractures; concussions
21.  Disease Surveillance and Achieving Synergy In Public Health Quality Improvement 
To examine disease surveillance in the context of a new national framework for public health quality and to solicit input from practitioners, researchers, and other stakeholders to identify potential metrics, pivotal research questions, and actions for achieving synergy between surveillance practice and public health quality.
National efforts to improve quality in public health are closely tied to advancing capabilities in disease surveillance. Measures of public health quality provide data to demonstrate how public health programs, services, policies, and research achieve desired health outcomes and impact population health. They also reveal opportunities for innovations and improvements. Similar quality improvement efforts in the health care system are beginning to bear fruit. There has been a need, however, for a framework for assessing public health quality that provides a standard, yet is flexible and relevant to agencies at all levels.
The U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, working with stakeholders, recently developed and released a Consensus Statement on Quality in the Public Health System that introduces a novel evaluation framework. They identified nine aims that are fundamental to public health quality improvement efforts and six cross-cutting priority areas for improvement, including population health metrics and information technology; workforce development; and evidence-based practices (1).
Applying the HHS framework to surveillance expands measures for surveillance quality beyond typical variables (e.g., data quality and analytic capabilities) to desired characteristics of a quality public health system. The question becomes: How can disease surveillance help public health services to be more population centered, equitable, proactive, health-promoting, risk-reducing, vigilant, transparent, effective, and efficient—the desired features of a quality public health system?
Any agency with a public health mission, or even a partial public health mission (e.g., tax-exempt hospitals), can use these measures to develop strategies that improve both the quality of the surveillance enterprise and public health systems, overall. At this time, input from stakeholders is needed to identify valid and feasible ways to measure how surveillance systems and practices advance public health quality. What exists now and where are the gaps?
Improving public health by applying quality measures to disease surveillance will require innovation and collaboration among stakeholders. This roundtable will begin a community dialogue to spark this process. The first goal will be to achieve a common focus by defining the nine quality aims identified in the HHS Consensus Statement. Attendees will draw from their experience to discuss how surveillance practice advances the public health aims and improves public health. We will also identify key research questions needed to provide evidence to inform decision-making.
The roundtable will discuss how the current state of surveillance practice addresses each of the aims described in the Consensus Statement to create a snapshot of how surveillance contributes to public health quality and begin to articulate practical measures for assessing quality improvements. Sample questions to catalyze discussion include: —How is surveillance used to identify and address health disparities and, thereby, make public health more equitable? What are the data sources? Are there targets? How can research and evaluation help to enhance this surveillance capability and direct action?—How do we identify and address factors that inhibit quality improvement in surveillance? What are the gaps in knowledge, skills, systems, and resources?—Where can standardization play a positive role in the evaluation of quality in public health surveillance?—How can we leverage resources by aligning national, state, and local goals? —What are the key research questions and the quality improvement projects that can be implemented using recognized models for improvement?—How can syndromic surveillance, specifically, advance the priority aims?
The roundtable will conclude with a list of next steps to develop metrics that resonate with the business practices of public health at all levels.
PMCID: PMC3692848
public health quality; metrics; framework
22.  ISS-An Electronic Syndromic Surveillance System for Infectious Disease in Rural China 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e62749.
syndromic surveillance system has great advantages in promoting the early detection of epidemics and reducing the necessities of disease confirmation, and it is especially effective for surveillance in resource poor settings. However, most current syndromic surveillance systems are established in developed countries, and there are very few reports on the development of an electronic syndromic surveillance system in resource-constrained settings.
this study describes the design and pilot implementation of an electronic surveillance system (ISS) for the early detection of infectious disease epidemics in rural China, complementing the conventional case report surveillance system.
ISS was developed based on an existing platform ‘Crisis Information Sharing Platform’ (CRISP), combining with modern communication and GIS technology. ISS has four interconnected functions: 1) work group and communication group; 2) data source and collection; 3) data visualization; and 4) outbreak detection and alerting.
As of Jan. 31st 2012, ISS has been installed and pilot tested for six months in four counties in rural China. 95 health facilities, 14 pharmacies and 24 primary schools participated in the pilot study, entering respectively 74256, 79701, and 2330 daily records into the central database. More than 90% of surveillance units at the study sites are able to send daily information into the system. In the paper, we also presented the pilot data from health facilities in the two counties, which showed the ISS system had the potential to identify the change of disease patterns at the community level.
The ISS platform may facilitate the early detection of infectious disease epidemic as it provides near real-time syndromic data collection, interactive visualization, and automated aberration detection. However, several constraints and challenges were encountered during the pilot implementation of ISS in rural China.
PMCID: PMC3633833  PMID: 23626853
23.  Syndromic Surveillance from a Local Perspective – A Review of the Literature 
Review of the origins and evolution of the field of syndromic surveillance. Compare the goals and objectives of public health surveillance and syndromic surveillance in particular. Assess the science and practice of syndromic surveillance in the context of public health and national security priorities. Evaluate syndromic surveillance in practice, using case studies from the perspective of a local public health department.
Public health disease surveillance is defined as the ongoing systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of health data for use in the planning, implementation and evaluation of public health, with the overarching goal of providing information to government and the public to improve public health actions and guidance [1,2]. Since the 1950s, the goals and objectives of disease surveillance have remained consistent [1]. However, the systems and processes have changed dramatically due to advances in information and communication technology, and the availability of electronic health data [2,3]. At the intersection of public health, national security and health information technology emerged the practice of syndromic surveillance [3].
To better understand the current state of the field, a review of the literature on syndromic surveillance was conducted: topics and keywords searched through PubMed and Google Scholar included biosurveillance, bioterrorism detection, computerized surveillance, electronic disease surveillance, situational awareness and syndromic surveillance, covering the areas of practice, research, preparedness and policy. This literature was compared with literature on traditional epidemiologic and public health surveillance. Definitions, objectives, methods and evaluation findings presented in the literature were assessed with a focus on their relevance from a local perspective, particularly as related to syndromic surveillance systems and methods used by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in the areas of development, implementation, evaluation, public health practice and epidemiological research.
A decade ago, the objective of syndromic surveillance was focused on outbreak and bioterrorism early-event detection (EED). While there have been clear recommendations for evaluation of syndromic surveillance systems and methods, the original detection paradigm for syndromic surveillance has not been adequately evaluated in practice, nor tested by real world events (ie, the systems have largely not ‘detected’ events of public health concern). In the absence of rigorous evaluation, the rationale and objectives for syndromic surveillance have broadened from outbreak and bioterrorism EED, to include all causes and hazards, and to encompass all data and analyses needed to achieve “situational awareness”, not simply detection. To evaluate current practices and provide meaningful guidance for local syndromic surveillance efforts, it is important to understand the emergence of the field in the broader context of public health disease surveillance. And it is important to recognize how the original stated objectives of EED have shifted in relation to actual evaluation, recommendation, standardization and implementation of syndromic systems at the local level.
Since 2001, the field of syndromic surveillance has rapidly expanded, following the dual requirements of national security and public health practice. The original objective of early outbreak or bioterrorism event detection remains a core objective of syndromic surveillance, and systems need to be rigorously evaluated through comparison of consistent methods and metrics, and public health outcomes. The broadened mandate for all-cause situation awareness needs to be focused into measureable public health surveillance outcomes and objectives that are consistent with established public health surveillance objectives and relevant to the local practice of public health [2].
PMCID: PMC3692931
evaluation; biosurveillance; situational awareness; syndromic surveillance; local public health
24.  Descriptive Epidemiology of Collegiate Women's Ice Hockey Injuries: National Collegiate Athletic Association Injury Surveillance System, 2000–2001 Through 2003–2004 
Journal of Athletic Training  2007;42(2):249-254.
Objective: To review 4 years of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) injury surveillance data for women's ice hockey and to identify potential areas for injury prevention initiatives.
Background: The NCAA ISS prospectively collects data on injuries sustained during collegiate participation. Women's NCAA ice hockey began participation in the ISS during the 2000–2001 season. On average, over the 4 years, 15.6% of the eligible schools elected to send their injury data.
Main Results: Over the 4 years of study, the rate of injury in games was more than 5 times higher than the injury rate in practices (12.6 versus 2.5 injuries per 1000 athlete-exposures, rate ratio = 5.0, 95% confidence interval = 4.2, 6.1, P < .01). Preseason practice injury rates were almost twice as high as in-season practice rates (4.2 versus 2.3 injuries per 1000 athlete-exposures, rate ratio = 1.8, 95% confidence interval = 1.7, 2.0, P < .01). Concussions were the most common injury in both games (21.6%) and practices (13.2%). The rate of concussions in games appeared to be trending upward over the study period. The greatest number of game injuries (approximately 50%) resulted from player contact, whereas practice injuries were from either contact with another object or noncontact mechanisms.
Recommendations: Women's ice hockey is an evolving NCAA sport. Only 4 years of ISS data are available and, therefore, data should be interpreted with caution. Women's ice hockey does not allow for formal body checking; however, approximately 50% of all game injuries were reported to result from contact with another player. Future researchers need to evaluate the effectiveness of the no-checking rule. Additional years of data collection will be required to allow the data to become more stable, and to increase attention to mechanism-of-injury issues. We anticipate that the hypothesized inconsistencies in skill level across and within the various women's teams also will be reduced as more consistently skilled players develop, allowing for more stability in the injury scenario.
PMCID: PMC1941287  PMID: 17710173
athletic injuries; injury prevention; concussions
25.  Retrospective review of all-terrain vehicle accidents in Alberta 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2012;55(4):249-253.
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are frequently associated with injuries and deaths. In spite of this, very few guidelines, let alone legal restrictions, exist to guide users of these machines.
We conducted a standardized review of prospectively collected data from the Alberta Trauma Registry. All patients who were involved in ATV-related traumas from 2003 to 2008 with an Injury Severity Score (ISS) greater than 12 were included. The variables studied were age, sex, type of vehicle, purpose of use, person injured (driver or passenger), ISS, distribution of injuries, length of hospital stay, helmet use and death.
We evaluated 435 patients with ATV-related injuries and ISS greater than 12. The average ISS was 22.8, with an overall mortality of 4.6%; 55% of patients were not wearing helmets, and most of the deaths (85%) occurred among these individuals. Helmet use was associated with a lower risk of mechanical ventilation and of injury to the head and/or cervical spine. Children accounted for 18.9% of all patients and 15% of deaths; 57% of them were wearing helmets at the time of their accidents.
All-terrain vehicle use in Alberta carries a significant risk of injury and death, and there is an association between death and lack of helmet use. A minimum age for ATV use of at least 16 years and a legal requirement for helmet use may increase public awareness of these risks and decrease morbidity and mortality.
PMCID: PMC3404145  PMID: 22617540

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