Kicking off Summer – Syndromic Surveillance and Anomalies

Memorial Day signifies the beginning of the summer season—and with it, public health issues that typically peak in the summer months. This can include anything from asthma attacks to jellyfish stings and hospital visits related to a significant weather event.

EpiCenter, HMS’ syndromic surveillance system, allows you to monitor these issues to determine if the number of occurrences are higher or lower than typically seen. For example, last year when meteorologists predicted that Hurricane Irene would make a significant impact in New Jersey, the state’s Department of Health & Senior Services contacted HMS to request that a classifier be added to EpiCenter—to identify hurricane-related ER visits. Hospitals across the state were notified that they should add the word “Irene” in any ER admissions related to the hurricane. This provided the state with valuable information on the types of illnesses occurring as a direct result of the hurricane.

Contact us if you’d like to customize your EpiCenter subscription to add a classifier that can better assist you in monitoring public health. And enjoy your holiday weekend!