General
What is NC DETECT?
Who develops and manages NC DETECT?
How is NC DETECT related to NCHESS?
How have North Carolinians benefited from NC DETECT?
Who pays for NC DETECT?

Data Access

Who is permitted to access the NC DETECT data?
Can other hospitals view data from our hospital?

Technical

What data elements are available in NC DETECT?
Where do the data physically reside?

NC DETECT Web Application

How does NC DETECT group data by week?
Why are signals and counts different if I switch between searching by county and by hospital for my geographic area in the emergency department data?
My search results aren’t as expected… I expected higher numbers in my search results… My syndrome counts aren’t as high as expected..
How do I sign up to get NC DETECT training?


General

 

What is NC DETECT?
The North Carolina Disease Event Tracking and Epidemiologic Collection Tool (NC DETECT) is North Carolina’s statewide syndromic surveillance system. NC DETECT was created by the North Carolina Division of Public Health (NC DPH) in 2004 in collaboration with the Carolina Center for Health Informatics (CCHI) in the UNC Department of Emergency Medicine to address the need for early event detection and timely public health surveillance in North Carolina using a variety of secondary data sources. Authorized users are currently able to view data from emergency departments, the Carolinas Poison Center, and the Pre-hospital Medical Information System (PreMIS), as well as pilot data from select urgent care centers.

 

Who develops and manages NC DETECT?
Staff at the Carolina Center for Health Informatics in the UNC Department of Emergency Medicine (CCHI), under contract to the North Carolina Division of Public Health (NC DPH) develop and manage NC DETECT. CCHI collaborates with NC DPH on all aspects of NC DETECT development and most NC DETECT development is user-driven. Contact us if you have suggestions: ncdetect@listserv.med.unc.edu

 

How is NC DETECT related to NCHESS?
Data collected via the North Carolina Hospital Emergency Surveillance System (NCHESS) are loaded into NC DETECT. CCHI monitors the quality of the NCHESS data and works with the North Carolina Hospital Association (NCHA), hospitals and their vendors and to ensure NC DETECT users have access to the most accurate data possible.

 

How have North Carolinians benefited from NC DETECT?
With NC DETECT, public health officials at the local, regional and state levels are able to monitor a variety of important public health issues in a secure and timely fashion, including influenza, post-hurricane health issues, injury and violence, and vaccine-preventable disease surveillance. For example, NC DETECT users have monitored illness and injury effects after hurricane Irene, analyzed ED use at select hospitals by Katrina evacuees, monitored heat-related illness, the health effects of wildfires, and uncovered unreported cases of tuberculosis and tularemia. Before NC DETECT, similar surveillance was either simply not performed, relied on manual, redundant data entry, or had a considerable time lag. Check out our publications page to view a list of websites, publications and presentations based on data from NC DETECT.

Since NC DETECT is designed to uncover suspicious patterns of illness, it is a key tool in the early detection of emerging infectious diseases, such as new strains of influenza.

 

Who pays for NC DETECT?
NC DETECT is funded from federal grants administered through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and disbursed by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health.
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Data Access

 

Who is permitted to access the NC DETECT data?
Users authorized by the NC Division of Public Health may access NC DETECT data. To request access to NC DETECT, please read the Terms of Use and complete the online Account Request form.

 

Can other hospitals view data from our hospital?
Hospital users can view data from their own hospital/hospital system only and statewide data aggregated by patient county of residence with no hospital identifiers.
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Technical

 

What data elements are being collected?
Please visit the NC DETECT data elements page to read what we are collecting.

 

Where do the NC DETECT data physically reside?
The NC DETECT data are housed at a secure data center that provides 24/7/365 security and support.
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NC DETECT Web Application

 

How does NC DETECT group data by week?
A complete week in NC DETECT begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday. If you select a date range on a case report and view the data by week on a chart, NC DETECT will NOT alter your date range to make sure you are using a complete week. Please use the calendar tool to ensure that you are starting your search date with a Sunday and ending with a Saturday if you would like to group the results by week.

 

Why are signals and counts different if I switch between searching by county and by hospital for my geographic area in the emergency department data?
There are several reasons. Searching by hospital includes all patients who visited that hospital, regardless of where they live. Searching by county is based on a patient’s county of residence. Patients may visit a hospital that is not in their county of residence. Similarly, out of state patients may visit a hospital that you have access to; they will be included in results searched on by hospital but will not be included in results searched on by county. Searching by county(ies) or PHRST region(s) also excludes records with NULL (missing) counties, but these visits will be included in searches by hospital.

 

My search results aren’t as expected… I expected higher numbers in my search results… My syndrome counts aren’t as high as expected…
All of these questions are related to data completeness. In order to ensure that you are viewing complete data, please view the total visit counts for the hospital or county you are analyzing. You can do this in the Syndrome Overview Report (by location, then syndrome) or in the Visit Counts by Day / Week / Month report. Local and state users can also view ED completeness in the Dashboard reports. If the visit counts look normal, the data may have missing data elements that are affecting your counts. In addition, all users should refer to the hospital status table to see when hospitals in their respective region(s) began sending data to NC DETECT. If you ever have any concerns about the quality of the NC DETECT data you are viewing, please contact us at ncdetect@listserv.med.unc.edu.

 

How do I sign up to get NC DETECT training?
Users interested in customized training on NC DETECT should contact us at ncdetect@listserv.med.unc.edu to request a training.  Most training sessions are web-based and are customized to the trainee’s jurisdiction and data access. Training can help all users to maximize their use of NC DETECT!

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