Evaluation of knowledge resources for public health reporting logic: Implications for knowledge authoring and management

Catherine Staes, Rita Altamore, Eun Gyoung, Susan Mottice, Deepthi Rajeev, Richard Bradshaw


To control disease, laboratories and providers are required to report conditions to public health authorities. Reporting logic is defined in a variety of resources, but there is no single resource available for reporters to access the list of reportable events and computable reporting logic for any jurisdiction. In order to develop evidence-based requirements for authoring such knowledge, we evaluated reporting logic in the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologist (CSTE) position statements to assess its readiness for automated systems and identify features that should be considered when designing an authoring interface; we evaluated codes in the Reportable Condition Mapping Tables (RCMT) relative to the nationally-defined reporting logic, and described the high level business processes and knowledge required to support laboratory-based public health reporting. We focused on logic for viral hepatitis. We found that CSTE tabular logic was unnecessarily complex (sufficient conditions superseded necessary and optional conĀ¬ditions) and was sometimes true for more than one reportable event: we uncovered major overlap in the logic between acute and chronic hepatitis B (52%), acute and Past and Present hepatitis C (90%). We found that the RCMT includes codes for all hepatitis criteria, but includes addition codes for tests not included in the criteria. The proportion of hepatitis variant-related codes included in RCMT that correspond to a criterion in the hepatitis-related position statements varied between hepatitis A (36%), acute hepatitis B (16%), chronic hepatitis B (64%), acute hepatitis C (96%), and past and present hepatitis C (96%). Public health epidemiologists have the need to communicate parameters other than just the name of a disease or organism that should be reported, such as the status and specimen sources. Existing knowledge resources should be integrated, harmonized and made computable. Our findings identified functionality that should be provided by future knowledge management systems to support epidemiologists as they communicate reporting rules for their jurisdiction.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/ojphi.v3i3.3903

Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 * http://ojphi.org