NACCHO releases report on syndromic surveillance systems

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) recently released the findings of an ad hoc workgroup convened to study how local health departments can better integrate syndromic surveillance systems into their operations.

While the group said additional work is necessary before finalizing a set of recommendations regarding syndromic surveillance systems, it said that it would seek input from experts within the surveillance community to develop a list of functionalities that can fulfill the needs of a diverse set of health departments.

The group also pledged to establish the scope and classification of functionalities necessary for standardized systems, as well as whether functionalities should be reviewed with a standardized method.

The NACCHO report said that although syndromic surveillance systems have been in use since the late 1990s and a general framework regarding the systems has been established, no existing documents provide guidance on what functionalities they should include. The workgroup concluded that a white paper regarding syndromic surveillance systems would support system developers in aligning their efforts to meet the needs of local health departments.

The group said it would continue working to modify its list of functionalities.