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Emergency Medical Services and Syndromic Surveillance: A Comparison With Traditional Surveillance and Effects on Timeliness.
Rock, Peter J; Quesinberry, Dana; Singleton, Michael D; Slavova, Svetla.
  • Rock PJ; 4530 Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.
  • Quesinberry D; 50880 Institute for Biomedical Informatics, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.
  • Singleton MD; 4530 Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.
  • Slavova S; Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.
Public Health Rep ; 136(1_suppl): 72S-79S, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1495836
ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE:

Traditional public health surveillance of nonfatal opioid overdose relies on emergency department (ED) billing data, which can be delayed substantially. We compared the timeliness of 2 new data sources for rapid drug overdose surveillance-emergency medical services (EMS) and syndromic surveillance-with ED billing data.

METHODS:

We used data on nonfatal opioid overdoses in Kentucky captured in EMS, syndromic surveillance, and ED billing systems during 2018-2019. We evaluated the time-series relationships between EMS and ED billing data and syndromic surveillance and ED billing data by calculating cross-correlation functions, controlling for influences of autocorrelations. A case example demonstrates the usefulness of EMS and syndromic surveillance data to monitor rapid changes in opioid overdose encounters in Kentucky during the COVID-19 epidemic.

RESULTS:

EMS and syndromic surveillance data showed moderate-to-strong correlation with ED billing data on a lag of 0 (r = 0.694; 95% CI, 0.579-0.782; t = 9.73; df = 101; P < .001; and r = 0.656; 95% CI, 0.530-0.754; t = 8.73; df = 101; P < .001; respectively) at the week-aggregated level. After the COVID-19 emergency declaration, EMS and syndromic surveillance time series had steep increases in April and May 2020, followed by declines from June through September 2020. The ED billing data were available for analysis 3 months after the end of a calendar quarter but closely followed the trends identified by the EMS and syndromic surveillance data.

CONCLUSION:

Data from EMS and syndromic surveillance systems can be reliably used to monitor nonfatal opioid overdose trends in Kentucky in near-real time to inform timely public health response.
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Full text: Available Collection: International databases Database: MEDLINE Main subject: Population Surveillance / Sentinel Surveillance / Emergency Medical Services / Drug Overdose / Public Health Surveillance / Analgesics, Opioid / Opioid-Related Disorders Type of study: Prognostic study / Randomized controlled trials / Screening study Limits: Humans Country/Region as subject: North America Language: English Journal: Public Health Rep Year: 2021 Document Type: Article Affiliation country: 00333549211018673

Full text: Available Collection: International databases Database: MEDLINE Main subject: Population Surveillance / Sentinel Surveillance / Emergency Medical Services / Drug Overdose / Public Health Surveillance / Analgesics, Opioid / Opioid-Related Disorders Type of study: Prognostic study / Randomized controlled trials / Screening study Limits: Humans Country/Region as subject: North America Language: English Journal: Public Health Rep Year: 2021 Document Type: Article Affiliation country: 00333549211018673