The Health Protection Agency has launched two new systems to help it spot new and emerging infections ahead of this summer’s Olympic games.
A GP out-of-hours/unscheduled care syndromic surveillance system has just gone live, to give the PHA daily reports on patients turning up at out-of-hours services and walk-in centres.
This complements a similar system for emergency departments, developed with the College of Emergency Medicine, and a web-based reporting tool for intensive care units.
In a statement on its website, the HPA says that surveillance data from the GPOOHSSS covers evenings, nights, weekends and bank-holidays.
As such, it says it extends significantly the ‘in-hours’ data available from the existing GP surveillance system.
The EDSSS provides monitoring for ‘more severe presentations of acute disease’ than the existing NHS Direct surveillance system.
The emergency department system was developed with six A&E departments, and successfully picked up signs of increased flu activity over the winter.
The new schemes have also been used in the agency’s National Olympic Exercises; or tests to make sure that it is ready for the Games.
“These new and enhanced syndromic surveillance systems will form an important legacy of the games," the HPA adds.
"They will] provide England and Wales with one of the most comprehensive public health-based syndromic surveillance programmes in the world.”
© 2012 EHealth Media.
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