Boston Looks to Syndromic Surveillance to Improve Public Health

Dec 6, 2012, 2:34 PM

Syndromic surveillance systems are being developed locally, regionally and nationally to aid in tracking disease outbreak, childhood immunizations, or illness during natural disasters throughout communities. The systems are cost-effective ways for healthcare professionals to gather information and confirm diseases before laboratory verification.

The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) has spearheaded the expansion of the use of syndromic surveillance, making it an integral part to aid in the sharing of public health concerns in the city of Boston. Julia Gunn, Director of Communicable Disease Control Division at BPHC, believes that “Engaging with communities, schools, daycares, community based organizations, and churches results in a healthier community because primary communication doesn’t occur in the healthcare sector, it occurs in the community.”

Syndromic surveillance assists in this communication across all sectors by detecting the affected areas, informing the public and targeting resources to them.

Read all about BPHC’s efforts on the ePublic Health Blog, NACCHO's new blog to facilitate dialogue among local health department professionals interested in the public health informatics community, while providing an informal venue for regular communications on the latest public health informatics news, resources and promotions.

Recommended reading >> ePublic Health Blog on Syndromic Surveillance

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.