The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has been committed to improving public health surveillance data to enable better disease management and response strategies. In January 2023, two pioneering features on the Notifiable Medical Conditions (NMC) Reporting App were introduced. These features are designed to enhance surveillance data quality and provide a seamless user experience.
Epidemiological Classification of NMCs by NICD Centre
The first innovative feature, the Epidemiological (Epi) Classification, is a web-based function that revolutionises case classification. NICD centres are now empowered to classify notified cases based on predefined case definitions available on the NMC Reporting App. This classification allows for identifying and excluding cases that do not meet the specified criteria, addressing any erroneous captures made by NMC App users. By ensuring accurate and reliable data, the Epi Classification assists the NMC team in quantifying the true burden of diseases, offering valuable insights for improved disease management strategies.
Hospital Surveillance Form for Category 1 NMCs
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of hospitalisation data in understanding disease epidemiology and assessing the effectiveness of public health interventions. Drawing from this experience, the NICD has introduced a comprehensive Hospital Surveillance Form within the existing Notifiable Medical Conditions surveillance system. This new form collects essential information on risk factors associated with illness for hospitalised patients diagnosed with any category 1 NMC. Factors such as race, comorbidities, body mass index, and previous hospital admissions are recorded for hospitalised, transferred, and discharged patients. Expanding data collection to encompass hospitalisation details, this feature strengthens the overall notifiable medical disease system, allowing for better response capabilities and informed policymaking, particularly in the face of future pandemics.
The implementation of these new features holds immense potential for advancing public health surveillance. The Epi Classification feature promises the accuracy and reliability of reported data, enabling authorities to make evidence-based decisions and allocate resources more efficiently. Simultaneously, the Hospital Surveillance Form provides a more comprehensive understanding of disease dynamics and associated risk factors, paving the way for targeted interventions and informed policy development. These advancements strengthen the overall public health infrastructure, effectively ensuring readiness to combat future health challenges.
Click here to view the exciting features.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of National Institute for Communicable Diseases, South Africa (NICD).