THE NORTH CAROLINA BIOSURVEILLANCE SYSTEM

ANNA E. WALLER AND AMY I. ISING

Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

LANA DEYNEKA

General Communicable Disease Control Branch, North Carolina Division of Public Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Raleigh, North Carolina

1 INTRODUCTION

On October 17, 2007, President George W. Bush issued the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD 21) [1]. HSPD 21 outlines immediate steps for improving the nation’s preparedness for natural and intentional disasters, and includes specific criteria for effective biosurveillance systems. Biosurveillance systems must be able to “identify specific disease incidence and prevalence in heterogeneous populations and environments and must possess sufficient flexibility to tailor analyses to new syndromes and emerging diseases”. In addition, all stakeholders, from public health officials at all levels to data providers and clinicians, must be involved in system design. The North Carolina Disease Event Tracking and Epidemiologic Collection Tool (NC DETECT), is North Carolina’s statewide biosurveillance system. Although its roots date back to an electronic emergency department (ED) data collection initiative launched in 1999, NC DETECT embodies those characteristics outlined in HSPD 21.

2 BACKGROUND

NC DETECT is an advanced, statewide public health surveillance system made possible through a unique combination of leaders ...

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