220862 LPHA data management surge capacity during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic: The city of milwaukee health department experience

Monday, November 8, 2010

Paul A. Biedrzycki, MPH, MBA , Health Department, City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Angela Hagy, MSPH , Health Department, City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Frederick A. Radmer, MPH , City of Milwaukee Health Department, Milwaukee, WI
Geoffrey R. Swain, MD, MPH , University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, City of Milwaukee Health Department, Milwaukee, WI
Richard T. Heffernan, MPH , Bureau of Communicable Diseases, Wisconsin Division of Public Health, Madison, WI
Seth L. Foldy, MD, MPH , Department of Health Services, State of Wisconsin Division of Public Heatlh, Madison, WI
The emergence of pandemic H1N1 influenza in the United States during 2009 created unprecedented challenges for local public health agencies (LPHAs) in the surveillance, treatment and prevention of illness within the community. One key area, crucial to the mapping of sound strategic direction but often overlooked by LPHAs during pre-planning, is the capacity to accommodate a surge in event data collection, analyses and management. During the spring wave of the pandemic, the City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) recorded over 3200 probable and confirmed cases of disease, the highest count in the U.S. During the following fall, MHD administered over 25,000 doses of monovalent H1N1 vaccine. These activities not only required unparalleled coordination between State, regional and private healthcare authorities but also significant management of rapidly assembled and reported data from a variety of sources and infrastructure. At the MHD, the compilation and analysis of this data was complimented by the use of the Wisconsin Health Information Exchange (WHIE), Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System (WEDSS) and Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR). While there were many hurdles associated with processing such large volumes of data, lessons learned on-the-fly resulted in rapid advancements in department capabilities. Sufficient data-related surge capacity was essential to preparing and targeting public health interventions such as messaging and vaccination outreach, to analyzing severity and adjusting response strategies. Robust surge capacity for LPHA data management must be embedded as a critical core function for LPHAs, preferably prior to responding to any significant or extended public health emergency

Learning Areas:
Biostatistics, economics
Communication and informatics
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Explain how pre-planning surge capacity for data management during public health emergencies can streamline data collection, analysis and trending and improve strategic decision-making. Describe how the Milwaukee Health Department leveraged existing data management systems such as Wisconisn Health Information Exchange, Wisconsin Immunization Registry and Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System during response to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. Identify current challenges to LPHA in data management during response to public health emergencies including the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. Discuss how data management by the Milwaukee Health Department was used to assist in characterizing 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic severity including hospitalization rates within minority populations.

Keywords: Data/Surveillance, Data Collection

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee programs related to emergency preparedness, planning and response at the City of Milwaukee Health Department and provided leadership in organization and response to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic within the City of Milwaukee
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.