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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

PublicHealth Syndromic Surveillance Guide Published for Public Comment

I've spent a good bit of time talking about Syndromic Surveillance for Meaningful Use on this blog, especially given the various mistakes made in the original selection of standards and the subsequent approaches used to correct those mistakes. Now we have another minor whoops to contend with.

PHIN recently published a new implementation guide for implementing syndromic surveillance.  But this was not developed through a  consensus-based standards development process as suggested by OMB Directive A-119.  Instead it was yet another Federally sponsored project developed outside of an SDO.  I should acknowledge that they did have SDO input or I wouldn't have even known where to find this.  There is an opportunity to comment, it's just not one which people who follow and develop healthcare standards would normally be tracking.

I did a quick skim through the guide.  Once again, the work isn't bad, but I am still concerned about the lack of input from the side of producers of the messages in the guide.  There are a couple of places in the guide where the value set is marked TBD.  The most annoying one is the lack of specificity on laboratory results.  Haven't we been down this path before.  At least they could specify LOINC as the vocabulary and build from other work on reportable and notifiable conditions.

I'll do a more detailed analysis as time permits. The deadline for comments in June 20th, so there is still time.


  1. Has the final implementation guide been published yet?

  2. I haven't seen any announcements at the link above.

  3. Thanks for all of your work on this web page. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts in the future.