Investigating Other Syndrome in ESSENCE from a Data Quality Perspective


The Louisiana Office of Public Health (OPH) Infectious Disease Epidemiology Section (IDEpi) conducts syndromic surveillance of Emergency Department (ED) visits through the Louisiana Early Event Detection System (LEEDS) and submits the collected data to ESSENCE. There are currently 86 syndromes defined in LEEDS including infectious disease, injury and environmental exposure syndromes, among others. LEEDS uses chief complaint, admit reason, and/or diagnosis fields to tag visits to relevant syndromes. Visits that do not have information in any of these fields, or do not fit any syndrome definition are tagged to Null syndrome. ESSENCE uses a different algorithm from LEEDS and only looks in chief complaint for symptom information to bin visits to syndromes defined in ESSENCE. Visits that do not fit the defined syndromes or do not contain any symptom information are tagged to Other syndrome. Since the transition from BioSense to ESSENCE, IDEpi has identified various data quality issues and has been working to address them. The NSSP team recently notified IDEpi that a large number of records are binning to Other syndrome, which led to the investigation of the possible underlying data quality issues captured in Other syndrome.


This investigation takes a closer look at Other syndrome in ESSENCE and Null syndrome in LEEDS to understand what types of records are not tagged to a syndrome to elucidate data quality issues.

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Original Publication Year: 
Event/Publication Date: 
January, 2018

January 25, 2018

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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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