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the statewide Pre-Hospital Medical Information System, which captures
information on all ambulance runs; select urgent care centers in one metro-
politan area; two veterinary data sources; and Veterans Administration (VA)
hospitals in the state. This evaluation focuses on ED data.
11.1.2 NC DeTeCT Data Syndromes
At the time that we conducted this evaluation in 2007, NC DETECT classified
ED visits into eight syndromes as presented in Table 11.1, based on presenting
symptoms captured in chief complaints (CC), triage notes (TN), and initial
body temperature measurements, when available. All syndrome definitions,
except GI-All, require both a constitutional symptom (e.g., fever, body aches)
and a syndrome-specific symptom or mention of the condition (e.g., sore throat,
vomiting). Syndrome-specific symptoms relate specifically to the syndrome
or organ of interest (e.g., shortness of breath for respiratory illness or vomiting
for gastrointestinal illness). Constitutional symptoms are less specific, reflect
generalized illness, and are not representative of any specific organ system or
specific syndrome (e.g., fever or myalgias). In 2007, triage notes were available
for approximately 30% of the ED visits reported to NC DETECT.
In addition to CC, TN, and initial temperature, other data elements collected
by NC DETECT include date of birth; sex; city, state, county, and ZIP code of
patient's residence; ED facility; first date and time of ED visit; systolic and dia-
stolic blood pressure; mode of transport to ED; ED discharge diagnoses, coded
cause of injury, ED disposition, and coded procedures. Records may be updated
as additional electronic information becomes available; this is particularly nec-
essary for ICD-9-CM-coded diagnoses, cause of injury, and procedures.
Not all ED visits reported to NC DETECT fit into a syndrome, and if an ED
visit meets the criteria for more than one syndrome, it was binned into each
of those syndromes. ED visits are not limited to syndromes associated with
infectious diseases but could include any possible illness or injury. All ED
visit data are available for analysis even if they did not fit into a syndrome.
Table 11.1
NC DETECT Syndromes and Sample Chief Complaints*
Sample chief complaints
Vomiting, blurred vision, headache
Fever, rash on body
Fever, vomiting
Influenza-like illness
Fever, headache, cough, nausea, vomiting
Fever, stiffness in neck
Sweating, shortness of breath
*Current as of 2007.
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