Bulletin: Change in Definition of Chief Complaint Opioid-Related Evidence Classifier

Effective date: July 1, 2018

Health Monitoring’s evidence classifiers incorporate data from emergency department chief complaints, diagnosis codes, and clinical notes. Each classifier contains the classifications related to the data type. Each classification is defined by a particular set of keywords in conjunction with an absence of specified negative indicators.

Definition Change

At the request of the Connecticut Department of Health, two new brand names have been added to the Chief Complaint Opioid-Related Evidence Classifier.

The keywords “tramadol” and “hydromorph” are being added to that classifier’s Substance Opioid Brand classification. The relevance of these changes was deemed sufficiently universal and the impact on existing classifications sufficiently minor as to warrant applying them globally.

Impact on Existing Classifications

Since January 1, 2015, the start point for applying opioid-related classifications retroactively, there have been 2,852 chief complaints containing “tramadol” and 48 containing “hydromorph.” For “tramadol” that averages to roughly 2 per day systemwide, and thus less than 1 per day per state. Of those, 174 (169 “tramadol,” 5 “hydromorph”) contain sufficient additional information to warrant the classification “Suspected overdoses involving any opioid.” That works out to an average of 8 additional suspected opioid overdoses per year per state. The other two overdose categories will not be affected by this change.

Classification definitions (inclusion of keywords and exclusion of negative indicators) are developed based on the analysis of data received by the system. Words or phrases that do not appear in the data are not included in classifier definitions.

Mendocino County Adopts EpiCenter for Community Health Surveillance

Pittsburgh, PA [June 15, 2018] — Health Monitoring and Mendocino County, California, recently finalized a two-year service agreement that will connect the county’s three hospitals to the EpiCenter™ syndromic surveillance system. These hospitals are Mendocino Coast District Hospital, Adventist Health Howard Memorial Hospital, and Adventist Health Ukiah Valley, which together handled more than 50,000 patient visits in 2015.*

With this agreement, Mendocino became the seventh California county to engage the EpiCenter system, joining Alameda, Fresno, Humboldt, Kern, Tulare and Ventura counties.

EpiCenter collects, stores, and analyzes de-identified registration data from hospitals and other healthcare facilities in near–real time. It provides public health with an up-to-the-minute view of population health conditions so that agency personnel have the information they need to address emergent situations promptly.  In Mendocino County, EpiCenter will gather data related to emergency department registrations and patient discharge dispositions.

“We are delighted to partner with the Mendocino County public health department.  This new relationship is particularly exciting, as it expands on the close relationships we have had with local health departments throughout California,” said Kevin Hutchison, Health Monitoring’s president and CEO.

About Health Monitoring

Health Monitoring  is a privately held company specializing in healthcare data analysis.  The company processes and analyzes health‐related data in real time via a Software‐as‐a‐Service (SaaS) approach.  The company’s software products enable clients to increase their understanding of regional health conditions, improve quality and efficiency, and ensure regulatory compliance.

*2015 is the most recent year for which data is available.