13-September-2007: KFL&A Public Health, Infonaut, SSMIC and ESRI to Build Real-Time GIS Syndromic Surveillance System

Paul BelangerFunding

Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health (KFL&A), Infonaut, Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre and ESRI Canada have recently submitted a proposal for significant funding from GeoConnections for the creation of a Geospatial Decision Support System for syndromic surveillance. This project aims to inform health professionals and the public directly about real-time utilization of seven local Emergency Departments for respiratory and gastrointestinal illness to enable informed decision making. In particular the spatial visualization of this data will allow infection control practitioners, family physicians, community care access centers, long term care facilities, schools and child care centers amongst others to know immediately the current respiratory and gastrointestinal infectious activity in the community. They will have immediate access to data, via a website, to assess the current level of activity of illness in our communities and whether they are located in a “hot” zone. This knowledge could allow enhanced infection control precautions, appropriate isolation of cases and informed decision making. The desired goal is to reduce morbidity and mortality in the community from infectious disease by providing the right message to the right people in the right place, at the right time.