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Lesson 4. Sources of Routinely Collected Data for Surveillance. Objectives for Lesson 4. Describe notifiable disease and reporting mechanisms Describe vital statistics Define and describe sentinel surveillance Describe uses of surveys Describe registries.

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Lesson 4

Lesson 4

Sources of Routinely Collected Data for Surveillance

Lesson 4

Objectives for Lesson 4

  • Describe notifiable disease and reporting mechanisms

  • Describe vital statistics

  • Define and describe sentinel surveillance

  • Describe uses of surveys

  • Describe registries

Lesson 4

Objectives for Lesson 4 (continued)

  • Describe surveys

  • Differentiate between surveys and registries

  • Describe types of administrative data-collection systems

Lesson 4

Types of Surveillance

  • Selected individuals report

  • Passive: initiated by provider

  • Active: initiated by the health department

  • Sentinel

Lesson 4

Limitations of Reporting Systems

  • Under reporting

  • Incomplete reporting

* If consistent surveillance methods are used, data will describe trends despite under reporting

Lesson 4

Factors Contributing to Incomplete Reporting

  • Concealment due to social stigma

  • Lack of awareness of requirements

  • Inadequate knowledge of case definitions

  • Changes in procedures

  • Variations in diagnosis skills

  • Low priority

Lesson 4

Strengths of Reporting System

  • Quick information

  • Detect changes in patterns

  • Detection of outbreaks

  • Availability of information from all jurisdictions

  • Basis for prevention recommendations

Lesson 4

Potential Changes in Notifiable Disease Reporting


Reliance on laboratory-based reporting

Use of sentinel health care providers

Use of sentinel sites

Use of computerized data bases

Lesson 4

Vital Statistics

  • Only health related data available in many countries in a standard format

  • Often the only source available for estimating rates for small geographical areas

Lesson 4

Uses of Vital Statistics

  • Identify differences in health status within groups

  • Assess differences by geographic area or occupation

  • Monitor deaths considered to be preventable

  • Generate hypotheses regarding possible cause/correlates of disease

  • Conduct health planning activities

  • Monitor progress towards health goals

Lesson 4

Birth Certificates

  • Responsibility of states in U.S.

  • Adoption of standard certificates encouraged

  • Usually filed within 24 hours

  • Includes date, time, and additional information

Lesson 4

Death Certificate Information

  • Cause of death

  • Interval between onset of condition and death

  • Other important medical conditions

  • Manner of death

  • Whether an autopsy was performed

  • Whether medical examiner/coroner was notified

Lesson 4


A tabular list of categories and conditions


  • code numbers

  • definitions of key terms

  • rules for selecting underlying causes of death

  • lists of conditions for statistical summaries

    Useful for:

  • classifying conditions

  • calculating rates

Lesson 4

Issues in comparability and quality control

  • Factors influencing quality of vital statistics

  • Factors influencing comparability of vital statistics

  • Population estimates

  • Population undercounts

  • Comparison of cause-specific rates

  • Impact of use of certain ICD codes

Lesson 4

Surveillance Systems Based on Vital Statistics

  • Weekly reports (some)

  • Monthly or quarterly reports

  • Infant mortality and other adverse reproductive outcomes

  • Occupational mortality

  • Additional sources

Lesson 4

Sentinel Surveillance

  • Encompasses a wide range of activities focused on monitoring key health indicators in general or in special populations

Lesson 4

Sentinel refers to

  • Key health events

  • Clinics or other sites at which health events are monitored

  • Reporters who report specific health events

Lesson 4

Sentinel Sites

  • Hospitals

  • Clinics

  • Counties

Lesson 4

Role of Sentinel Sites

  • Monitor conditions for which information is not otherwise available

  • Monitor conditions in subgroups which are more vulnerable than general population

Lesson 4

Sentinel Providers

  • Report surveillance data

  • Higher quality data

  • Can be used to calculate or estimate disease morbidity

Lesson 4

Uses for Registries

  • Monitor chronic disease

  • Link information from multiple sources over time

  • Collect data systematically

  • Identify opportunities for disease control and prevention

Lesson 4

Types of Registries

  • Case series and hospital-based

  • Population-based

  • Exposure

Lesson 4


  • Provide information for assessing prevalence of health conditions and risk

  • Monitor changes in prevalence over time

  • Assess knowledge, attitudes, and practices

Lesson 4

Differences Between Survey and Registry

  • Individuals usually queried only once in a survey

  • Data obtained by interview in a survey

  • Surveyed population is generally representative of source population

Lesson 4

Types of Surveys

Health Interview Surveys


Provider-based Surveys


Other Surveys


Lesson 4

Administrative Data Collection Systems

  • Availability and usefulness

  • Integrated health information systems

  • Hospital discharge data systems

  • Emergency room data collection

  • Ambulatory care data

Lesson 4

Data Collection Systems

  • Home Accident Surveillance System (HASS)

  • European Home and Leisure Accident Surveillance System (EHLASS)

  • National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS)

  • Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN)

  • Poison control centers, burn units, trauma registries