Evaluation of the American Red Cross Disaster-Related Mortality Surveillance System Using Hurricane Ike Data-Texas 2008
ABSTRACT Objectives: To evaluate key attributes, strengths, and limitations of the American Red Cross (ARC) disaster-related mortality surveillance system implemented during Hurricane Ike in Texas 2008, and to provide recommendations for system improvement. Methods: We evaluated key attributes of the ARC mortality surveillance system. Evaluation included interviews with stakeholders and linking ARC data with the Texas Department of State Health Services' (DSHS) system for comparison. Results: During September 11 through October 6, 2008, the ARC identified 38 deaths, whereas DSHS identified 74 deaths related to Hurricane Ike (sensitivity = 47%; positive predictive value = 92%). The ARC had complete data on 61% to 92% of deaths, and an 83% to 97% concordance was observed between the 2 systems for key variables. Conclusions: The ARC surveillance system is simple, flexible, and stable. We recommend establishing written guidelines to improve data quality and representativeness. As an important supporting agency in disaster situations and the sole source of data regarding disaster-related mortality in multiple states, improvement of the ARC system will benefit stakeholders and promote dissemination of useful information for preventing future deaths.
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ABSTRACT: This study aimed to identify the indices and frameworks that have been used to assess the performance of communicable disease surveillance (CDS) in response to disasters and other emergencies, including infectious disease outbreaks. In this systematic review, PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus, ScienceDirect, ProQuest databases and grey literature were searched until the end of 2013. All retrieved titles were examined in accordance with inclusion criteria. Abstracts of the relevant titles were reviewed and eligible abstracts were included in a list for data abstraction. Finally, the study variables were extracted. Sixteen articles and one book were found relevant to our study objectives. In these articles, 31 criteria and 35 indicators were used or suggested for the assessment/evaluation of the performance of surveillance systems in disasters. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated guidelines for the evaluation of public health surveillance systems were the most widely used. Despite the importance of performance assessment in improving CDS in response to disasters, there is a lack of clear and accepted frameworks. There is also no agreement on the use of existing criteria and indices. The only relevant framework is the CDC guideline, which is a common framework for assessing public health surveillance systems as a whole. There is an urgent need to develop appropriate frameworks, criteria, and indices for specifically assessing the performance of CDS in response to disasters and other emergencies, including infectious diseases outbreaks. Key words: Disasters, Emergencies, Communicable Diseases, Surveillance System, Performance Assessment.02/2015; 7. DOI:10.1371/currents.dis.c72864d9c7ee99ff8fbe9ea707fe4465