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Journal of Public Health Management & Practice:
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e3181e39ec3
Original Article

An Automated System for Public Health Surveillance of School Absenteeism

Baer, Atar PhD, MPH; Rodriguez, Carla V. PhC, MPH; Duchin, Jeffrey S. MD

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Abstract

Public Health-Seattle & King County established an automated system for monitoring school absenteeism data from 18 of 19 public school districts in King County, Washington. The system receives a daily aggregate count of the number of students enrolled and absent, stratified by school district, school name, and grade. A name and unique identifier are provided for each school and district, as well as the level (eg, elementary, middle, high, alternative, other) and zip code of each school. Files are transmitted to the health department daily and include data from the previous school day. Public Health—Seattle & King County developed a series of visualizations that summarize the data by day, week, and month for each level of stratification. The automated system for collecting and monitoring school absenteeism data was more acceptable, simple, timely, complete, and useful relative to traditional manual data collection methods.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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