Evaluation of Heat-related Illness Surveillance Based on Chief Complaint Data from New Jersey Hospital Emergency Rooms

Michael Berry, Jerald Fagliano, Stella Tsai, Katharine McGreevy, Andrew Walsh, Teresa Hamby


The NJ Department of Health‰Ûªs syndromic surveillance system developed an algorithm to categorize heat-related illness (HRI) based on a patient‰Ûªs chief complaint during an emergency room visit, then matched these data with subsequent Uniform Billing (UB) diagnosis data. The overall sensitivity of the algorithm was 16% and the positive predictive value was 40%. Evaluation of a major heat event found both the sensitivity and positive predictive value increased to about 23% and 60%, respectively. While the HRI algorithm was relatively insensitive, sensitivity improved during major heat events and all excursions in HRI were identified using chief complaint data.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/ojphi.v5i1.4438

Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 * http://ojphi.org