Objectives: To assess emergency department (ED) clinicians' perceptions of a novel real-time influenza surveillance system using a pre- and post-implementation structured survey. Methods: We created and implemented a laboratory-based real-time influenza surveillance system at two EDs at the beginning of the 2013-2014 influenza season. Patients with acute respiratory illness were tested for influenza using rapid PCR-based Cepheid Xpert Flu assay. Results were instantaneously uploaded to a cloud-based data aggregation system made available to clinicians via a web-based dashboard. Clinicians received bimonthly email updates summating year-to-date results. Clinicians were surveyed prior to, and after the influenza season, to assess their views regarding acceptability and utility of the surveillance system data which were shared via dashboard and email updates. Results: The pre-implementation survey revealed that the majority (82%) of the 151 ED clinicians responded that they “sporadically” or “don't,” actively seek influenza-related information during the season. However, most (75%) reported that they would find additional information regarding influenza prevalence useful. Following implementation, there was an overall increase in the frequency of clinician self-reporting increased access to surveillance information from 50 to 63%, with the majority (75%) indicating that the surveillance emails impacted their general awareness of influenza. Clinicians reported that the additional real-time surveillance data impacted their testing (65%) and treatment (51%) practices. Conclusions: The majority of ED clinicians found surveillance data useful and indicated the additional information impacted their clinical practice. Accurate and timely surveillance information, distributed in a provider-friendly format could impact ED clinician management of patients with suspected influenza.
- emergency department
- provider acceptability
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health