Identifying Clusters of Rare and Novel Words in Emergency Department Chief Complaints

Description: 

A goal of biosurveillance is to identify incidents that require a public health response. The challenge is creating specific definitions of such incidents so they can be detected. In syndromic surveillance, this is accomplished by classifying emergency department chief complaints, nurse triage calls, and other prediagnostic data into categories, and then looking for increases in visits related to those categories. This approach can only find incidents that match those predefined categories. It is well-suited to handle common diseases; data from prior years provides information not only on which symptoms correlate with the disease, but also on how patients report them and how they appear in prediagnostic data streams. For unique or rare events, it is hard to know in advance how they will be described or recorded. Another approach is to look for similarities in the time of the healthcare encounters alone. This method can detect events which are missed by syndrome-oriented surveillance, but healthcare encounters that only have time of occurrence aren't necessarily related. To address this limitation, we propose a set of similarity criteria which incorporates both timing and reason.

Objective

Develop a method for detecting groups of related healthcare encounters without having to specify details of the reasons for those encounters in advance.

Primary Topic Areas: 
Original Publication Year: 
2013
Event/Publication Date: 
September, 2013

April 28, 2019

Contact Us

National Syndromic
Surveillance Program

Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention

Email:nssp@cdc.gov

The National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) is a collaboration among states and public health jurisdictions that contribute data to the BioSense Platform, public health practitioners who use local syndromic surveillance systems, CDC programs, other federal agencies, partner organizations, hospitals, healthcare professionals, and academic institutions.

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