Assessment of a syndromic surveillance system based on morbidity data results from the Oscour network during a heat wave

Publié le 9 Août 2010
Mis à jour le 05 juillet 2019

Background : Syndromic surveillance systems have been developed in recent years and are now increasingly used by stakeholders to quickly answer questions and make important decisions. It is therefore essential to evaluate the quality and utility of such systems. This study was designed to assess a syndromic surveillance system based on emergency departments" (ED) morbidity rates related to the health effects of heat waves. This study uses data collected during the 2006 heat wave in France. Methods : Data recorded from 15 EDs in the Ile-de-France (Paris and surrounding area) from June to August, 2006, were transmitted daily via the Internet to the French Institute for Public Health Surveillance. Items collected included diagnosis (ICD10), outcome, and age. Several aspects of the system have been evaluated (data quality, cost, flexibility, stability, and performance). Periods of heat wave are considered the most suitable time to evaluate the system. Results : Data quality did not vary significantly during the period. Age, gender and outcome were completed in a comprehensive manner. Diagnoses were missing or uninformative for 37.5% of patients. Stability was recorded as being 99.49% for the period overall. The average cost per day over the study period was estimated to be euros287. Diagnoses of hyperthermia, malaise, dehydration, hyponatremia were correlated with increased temperatures. Malaise was most sensitive in younger and elderly adults but also the less specific. However, overall syndrome groups were more sensitive with comparable specificity than individual diagnoses. Conclusion : This system satisfactorily detected the health impact of hot days (observed values were higher than expected on more than 90% of days on which a heat alert was issued). Our findings should reassure stakeholders about the reliability of health impact assessments during or following such an event. These evaluations are essential to establish the validity of the results of syndromic surveillance systems. (RA)

Auteur : Josseran L, Fouillet A, Caillere N, Brun Ney D, Ilef D, Brucker G, Medeiros H, Astagneau P
PloS one, 2010, vol. 5, n°. 8