Viral Respiratory Mapper - ACES Admissions

Formerly ACES Pandemic Tracker

The Viral Respiratory Mapper is a pair of tools that provide real-time situational awareness of emergency department visits and hospital admissions in Ontario for reasons that may be related to viral respiratory diseases, including COVID-19 and influenza. ACES, or Acute Care Enhanced Surveillance (ACES), is an Ontario-wide system that monitors hospital registration records in real time to identify potential disease outbreaks or other public health threats. It uses natural language processing to scan the words or phrases included in the “chief complaint” or "reason for admission" and to sort the records into "syndromes". Monitoring syndromes in real time can identify an outbreak much faster than is possible using laboratory results, but syndromes are not clinical diagnoses.

The two Viral Respiratory Mapper tools, viewed together, provide a comprehensive overview of respiratory disease presentation to acute hospitals in Ontario. The ED Visits tool (available here) is the earliest available hospital signal to identify potential respiratory viral spread in the population. It is not specific to disease, especially COVID-19, and may capture non-viral respiratory illnesses. As the earliest signal, it can be used to provide situational awareness of the potential patterns of spread for early interventions. The Admissions tool (found below) is a marker of severity of illness and typically lags behind visits. However, it is more respiratory disease specific, and has been developed to specifically identify potential COVID-19 admissions.

This tool displays real-time admissions to Ontario hospitals for respiratory-related syndromes (pneumonia, influenza-like illness and infection) as well as admissions whose “reason for admission” combined with syndrome has been flagged by a custom-developed query to identify potential COVID-related admissions. It compares these admission numbers to admission numbers before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to identify differences from normal hospitalization patterns. Click here for more information on the Admissions Mapper and syndromic surveillance.

How to use the Viral Respiratory Mapper - ACES Admissions: click here for more information. The main information in the Admission Mapper can be viewed by Local Health Integration Network (LHIN)—choose a specific LHIN from the dropdown menu to view data from participating hospitals in that region. In the main graph, if the black line (which represents the current admissions) is above the yellow or maroon dotted lines (which represent historical data), this suggests that the hospitals in that area are seeing more admissions than are expected. This is also true if the map shows LHINs that are yellow or maroon—yellow shows a possible increase in admissions while maroon shows a significant increase. There are additional graphs available that show the data by age group; these are only available for all of Ontario.

NOTES: Click herefor more information on how to use the Viral Respiratory Mapper - ACES Admissions. For more information about KFL&A Public Health and its response to COVID-19, click here.  For the status of cases in KFL&A, click here. For status of cases in Ontario, click here. For status of cases in Canada, click here. For more information about the Viral Respiratory Mapper or get the data in an accessible format, please contact the informatics team. Current version launched with updated syndromes and flagged admissions: August 8th, 2023 (data not comparable between versions).

For best viewing on mobile devices, click here. For best viewing on other devices, view in new window.

Note: Most Hamilton-area hospitals were offline in ACES from June through September 2022. This will affect the local trends during this period and potentially the provincial trends.