Original ArticleElectronic Medical Billing Records and Public Health Surveillance Comparison of Two Systems Used During the 1996 Atlanta Olympic GamesDuke, Jon D. MD; Tindol, G. Allen Jr. MD; Toomey, Kathleen E. MD, MPH; Pitts, Stephen R. MD, MPH; Dean, Andrew G. MD, MPHAuthor Information Resident in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. (Duke) Public Health Informatics Fellow, Division of Public Health Surveillance and Informatics, Epidemiology Program Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia. (Tindol) Director, Division of Public Health, Georgia Department of Human Resources, Atlanta, Georgia. (Toomey) Attending Physician, Department of Emergency Medicine, Grady Memorial Hospital, and Assistant Professor, Emory University School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. (Pitts) Chief, Software Development Activities, Division of Public Health Surveillance and Informatics, Epidemiology Program Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia. (Dean) Address correspondence to Dr. Dean, CDC, 4770 Buford Highway, Mailstop K74, Atlanta, GA 30341. This research was supported in part by an appointment to the Public Health Informatics Fellowship Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education through an interagency agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy and CDC. This material was developed in the public domain. No copyright applies. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: May 2002 - Volume 8 - Issue 3 - p 18-29 Buy Abstract For selected diagnoses of public health interest during the 1996 Olympic Games, the authors compared data concurrently obtained on the same patient population by two separate surveillance systems: (1) an existing hospital electronic medical billing records system and (2) a system based on manual record abstraction. Counts of total patient visits closely agreed, though the two systems differed considerably in some diagnostic categories, especially injuries. The authors concluded that while causation, risk factors, and illness severity are not reflected directly in standard International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes, and “E” codes to indicate causation may not be used, special-purpose surveillance systems based on existing computerized medical records may be as effective as manual data abstracting. © Aspen Publishers, Inc.