Informatics Research Seminar: Evaluation of surveillance systems: supporting improvements in public health practice

February 1 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm


Speaker: Erika Samoff, PhD
Presented from UNC-CH


Broadcast Link: Seminar



Public Health surveillance uses information systems to support outbreak control and programs to reduce disease in the population. This presentation describes the evaluation of two electronic public health surveillance systems used in North Carolina. Evaluation of these types of systems has traditionally meant evaluation of data characteristics (e.g. accuracy and timeliness). This project identifies additional goals for surveillance systems: generation of data that are easily accessed by practitioners at multiple levels, and delivery of these data to appropriate decision-makers. For these goals, new evaluation measures were created. The evaluation was designed to produce recommendations easily translatable to practice, and thereby to support practical use of these systems. The evaluation design, findings, recommendations, and translation efforts will be described.


Erika Samoff is a research associate at the Institute for Public Health at the Gillings School of Global Public Health, at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She received her M.P.H. from the University of Michigan and her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Epidemiology from the Yale University School of Public Health in 2003. She is an investigator on the CDC-funded North Carolina Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center (NCPERRC) Surveillance Project, where her work focuses on the use of information systems for public health surveillance. Her previous work includes sexually transmitted disease prevention program development and evaluation work for the city of New York and the States of California and Georgia. She worked as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2003-2005, in the Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention.