Traditionally a tool for monitoring infectious disease outbreaks, syndromic surveillance is a data collection tool that allows public health officials to track the real-time enrollment of patients into emergency rooms and urgent care clinics. By collecting the chief complaint, clinical assessment measures, discharge diagnosis, and triage notes through the statewide HL7 data exchange, Epidemiologists can use an alternative data source to determine the Incidence of TBI at the state and county level. With the new context provided through cursory EMR details, ISDH has informed targeted interventions aimed towards connecting patients to post-acute care and resource allocation for TBI across Indiana.
After several TBI studies, ISDH believes that HL7 data provides a novel method for overcoming the traditional TBI research ailments. Recently, ISDH applied syndromic surveillance data towards the identification of TBI symptomology trends. Using a sample of 1,000 Indiana patients with a listed history of TBI, ISDH Epidemiologists were able to estimate the prevalence of chronic TBI symptomology that presented at subsequent outpatient visits.
Furthermore, ISDH can identify secular anomalies within TBI incidence. In fact, a recent study by ISDH identified a dramatic temporal trend exclusive to Hoosier males, between the ages of 10 and 19. Over the last five years, the daily frequency of diagnosed TBI in September was more than two standard deviations greater than the annual daily average. (See Attachments for Calendar Heat Map). Upon further review, ISDH identified four predominant mechanisms of Injury: Falls, Assault, Football, and Vehicle Accident. At this time, ISDH is currently seeking to publish these findings and is working closely with local and federal stakeholders to implement interventions targeting the reduction of TBI within adolescent males.