Injury surveillance in the ED: Design, implementation, and analysis

Ruth A. Brenner, Peter C. Scheidt, Maryann W. Rossi, Tina L. Cheng, Mary D. Overpeck, Douglas A. Boenning, Joseph L. Wright, Jill D. Kavee, Kerrie E. Boyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Comprehensive, population-based surveillance for nonfatal injuries requires uniform methods for data collection from multiple hospitals. To show issues related to design and implementation of multihospital, emergency department (ED), injury surveillance, a city-wide system in the United States is discussed. From October 1, 1995 to September 30, 1996 all injury-related ED visits among District of Columbia residents <3 years of age were ascertained at the 10 hospitals where city children routinely sought care. Information was abstracted from 2,938 injury-related, ED visits (132.7 visits/1,000 person-years). Based on this experience, suggestions to facilitate design of multihospital, injury surveillance in other locations are offered. Importantly, injury-related visits were reliably ascertained from ED logs, and for most variables, a systematic sample of injury-related visits was representative of the total injured population. However, there is a need for more complete documentation of circumstances surrounding injuries and for standardization of data elements on ED logs and treatment records.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-187
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Data collection
  • Emergency department
  • Population surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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