Informatics Research Seminar: Secondary Data Usage & Public Health Informatics

September 29 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm


Speaker: Debbie Travers, PhD, RN, FAEN
Presented from UNC-CH



Dr. Travers will discuss the use of emergency department data and informatics applications to support public health surveillance. She will describe research and development conducted through the Carolina Center for Health Informatics at UNC-Chapel Hill. She will introduce the emerging field of biosurveillance and use the North Carolina Disease Event Tracking and Epidemiologic Collection Tool (NC DETECT) system as a case study. This presentation will include an overview of the development of NC DETECT, some of the technical and non-technical challenges in doing biosurveillance with routinely collected clinical data, and research directions.


Debbie A. Travers is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) School of Nursing, with a joint appointment in Emergency Medicine and adjunct status in the School of Public Health.  She has over 25 years’ experience in health care and maintains a part-time clinical practice in emergency nursing. As an informaticist she has worked with emergency department data and terminology standards, and text processing.  She currently has a National Library of Medicine grant to adapt natural language processing tools for public health surveillance.  She also does clinical decision support research on triage in emergency departments, and is currently working with the CDC to expand triage models to other settings in pandemic influenza situations.  Debbie has a Master’s in Nursing in Health Care Systems and a doctorate in Information Science.