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Reassessing Provider Reporting in the Age of Electronic Surveillance

Stachel, Anna G. MPH; Waechter, HaeNa MPH; Bornschlegel, Katherine MPH; Reddy, Vasudha MPH; Hanson, Heather MS; Wen, Timothy MPH; Baumgartner, Jennifer MSPH; Balter, Sharon MD

Journal of Public Health Management & Practice: March/April 2014 - Volume 20 - Issue 2 - p 240–245
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e31829d8047
Original Articles

Context: In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began funding health departments to implement integrated electronic systems for disease surveillance.

Objective: Determine the impact of discontinuing provider reporting for chronic hepatitis B and C, hepatitis A, and select enteric diseases.

Design: Laboratory and provider surveillance reports of chronic hepatitis B and C and enteric infections (Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli, Campylobacter, Listeria, noncholera Vibrio [eg, Vibrio parahaemolyticus], Salmonella, Shigella, and hepatitis A) diagnosed on January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2010 were compared for completeness and timeliness. Number of cases submitted by laboratories, providers, or both were assessed.

Results: From 2007 to 2010, the proportion of cases reported only by providers for enteric disease infections differed by disease, ranging from 4% (Shiga toxin–producing E coli) to 20% (noncholera Vibrio). For chronic hepatitis C, less than 1% of cases were reported by providers only. The number of complete laboratory reports increased over the time period from 80% to 95% for chronic hepatitis and 92% to 94% for enteric infections. Laboratory reports had higher completion for date of birth, sex, and zip codes. Provider reports had less than 60% completion for race/ethnicity versus 20% for laboratories. Laboratories were faster than providers at reporting chronic hepatitis B (median 4 vs 21 days), chronic hepatitis C (4 vs 18 days), Campylobacter (6 vs 10 days), noncholera Vibrio (11 vs 12 days), Salmonella (6 vs 7 days), Shigella (6 vs 13 days), and hepatitis A (3 vs 8 days); providers were faster than laboratories at reporting Shiga toxin–producing E coli (4 vs 7 days) and Listeria (5 vs 6 days).

Conclusions: Laboratories reported more cases and their reports were timelier and more complete for all categories except race/ethnicity for chronic hepatitis, Campylobacter, noncholera Vibrio, Salmonella, Shigella, and hepatitis A. For chronic hepatitis, provider reporting could be eliminated in New York City with no adverse effects on disease surveillance. For enteric infections, more work is needed before discontinuing provider reporting.

This study aims at determining the impact of discontinuing provider reporting for chronic hepatitis B and C, hepatitis A, and select enteric diseases.

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, New York.

Correspondence: Sharon Balter, MD, The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 42-09 28th St CN 22A Queens, NY 11101 (sbalter@health.nyc.gov).

Primary support for this investigation was provided by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Additional support was provided by the Division of Hepatitis and the FoodCORE Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2014 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.