Syndromic Surveillance

Syndromic Surveillance (SS) uses individual health indicators like chief complaint data, hospital discharge data, or diagnosis codes to identify outbreaks or health events and monitor public health at the community level. Aggregate data are grouped by symptom complexes, rather than specific diseases. By automating data collection, SS can provide ADPH with community-level information in near real time, sooner than a laboratory test can be completed and reported. SS does not replace required Notifiable Diseases and Conditions reporting.

Brief Overview FlyerADPH accepts SS data transmission from emergency department (ED) from eligible hospitals (EHs) and eligible professionals (EPs) within urgent care settings (UC). Although ADPH is not currently accepting SS data from non-emergency departments or non-urgent care settings, we encourage eligible professionals to register on our MU Web site for the latest information. If this policy changes in the future, ADPH will notify you through the MU Web site. ADPH does not provide exclusion letters. Alabama utilizes CDC's BioSense 2.0 software for SS, so the SS interface will be directly between the EHs/EPs and BioSense 2.0. The method of transport for SS messages is sFTP; ADT messages follow the standard SS HL7 2.5.1 messaging guide specified in the ONC final rule and ADPH's supplemental messaging guide.

For a brief program overview, including examples of how data is used and contact information, see our flyer.

Getting Started

Software vendors and hospitals interested in exchanging SS data with ADPH may register at the ADPH Security Portal / Meaningful Use Web application after obtaining federal certification for their SS module.

New CDC Publication Features ADPH Success Story: Syndromic Surveillance Data Quality Monitoring Program

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) featured the ADPH Data Quality Monitoring Program in its November 2018 issue. Data latency delayed the state's ability to recognize and respond quickly to public health threats. The article describes how ADPH syndromic surveillance analysts used data quality reports and developed other tracking mechanisms to break down barriers and facilitate conversations with facility staff to improve data reliability. 

Page last updated: December 18, 2018