Evaluating Surveillance Systems
Effective analysis of electronic disease surveillance system is associated with many issues as discussed below. Infectious diseases are the number one causes of most deaths occurring today and despite this fact, many nations have faced several challenges while implementing disease surveillance systems. In addition, these challenges are global because they affect both the developed and developing countries globally (Hitchcock, et al, 2007). Some of the most common issues associated with implementation of effective disease surveillance systems include the following. Availability of resources necessary for developing surveillance settings, issues associated with personnel, organization and program stakeholders and problems in data collection and operation of data collecting and analyzing tools.
Analysis of the issues associated with evaluating the effectiveness of electronic disease surveillance systems
The first issue involves the availability of resources necessary for developing surveillance systems. The growth and development of disease surveillance systems has increased the availability of data and information concerning the spread of infectious diseases worldwide. On the other hand, lack of necessary resources for dealing with disease outbreak has minimized the effectiveness of disease surveillance programs. Scarcity of financial resources results into lack of necessary funds for conducting information collection procedures affecting the settings of the program. In addition, most people carrying out disease surveillance programs lack the required knowledge of converting information into action because of low technology level or selection of old people who have no idea of how a surveillance system works (Mandl et al, 2004).
The second issue affecting the evaluation of the effectiveness of a disease surveillance system is the problem with personnel, organization and stakeholders. Major stakeholders in the implementation of disease surveillance systems tend to become reluctant and slow at work causing delays in implementation of these programs. Moreover, unorganized disease surveillance group always faces many problems in coordinating activities at the ground causing delays and ineffectiveness of surveillance programs. On the other hand, there are several instances where the program personnel fail to appear in person and send other inexperienced people who cause delays or even total failure of the surveillance system. Every participant in a disease surveillance system is of important use and failure to perform ones assigned duties introduces many issues in the effective implementation of a disease surveillance system (Becker, 2003).
Problems with data collection and operation of information collection and analyzing tools also affect the effectiveness of a disease surveillance system. Data collection and analysis forms the most crucial part in a disease surveillance system. Lack of qualified personnel in data collection has been an issue affecting many disease surveillance systems. Some healthcare bodies employ people who have no idea on how to use data collecting tools who end up spoiling the whole project. A quality data, perfect analysis, and effective actions are necessary for the success of a disease surveillance system. Before any informed decision is made, the organizing body should ensure these three elements are present and working effectively. On the other hand, some countries, especially developing countries, lack the necessary resources for hiring automated data collection and analysis tools that are more effective and accurate than human beings (Lombardo and Buckeridge, 2006).
Include an explanation of how you would address the interests of multiple constituencies.
Dealing with the following issues would ensure disease surveillance systems are more effective and serve the needed purposes. In addressing these issues, several things ought to be done. Firstly, the bodies associated with disease surveillance programs should create awareness to all personnel and stakeholders on the importance of their participation in the program. In addition, people on the ground should be educated on the importance of giving their health information to healthcare officers conducting surveillance programs. Secondly, the issue of availability of resources should be dealt with by using technology to reduce costs. The best option involves implementing only adaptive systems and use of imaginative reporting methods rather than implementing all system requirements. Finally, the data collection procedures should be automated to avoid human errors and ensure timely collection and analysis of data. In addition, departments of public health should ensure only qualified personnel are assigned data collecting and analyzing tools to avoid making errors during surveillance process (Lombardo & Buckeridge, 2007).
Becker, J. (2003). High-tech health watch draws cash, questions. The Washington Post (Final Edition), A.17
Hitchcock, P., Chamberlain, A., Van Wagoner, M., Inglesby, T. V., and O’Toole, T. (2007). “Challenges to Global Surveillance and Response to Infectious Disease Outbreaks of International Importance”, Biosecurity and Bioterrorism, 5(3).Lombardo, J. S., & Buckeridge, D. L. (Eds.). (2007). Disease surveillance: A public health informatics approach. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Interscience.
Lombardo, J. S., & Buckeridge, D. L. (Eds.). (2007). Disease surveillance: A public health informatics approach. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Interscience.
Lombardo, J. S. and Buckeridge, D. L. (eds) (2006). Modern Disease Surveillance Systems in Public Health Practice, in Disease Surveillance: A Public Health Informatics Approach. USA, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken,
Mandl, K. D. et al. (2004). Implementing syndromic surveillance: A practical guide informed by the early experience. J Am Med Inform Assoc, 11:141-150.