AbstractMost automated disease surveillance systems notify users of increases in the prevalence of reports in syndrome categories and allow users to view patient level data related to those increases. Occasionally, a more dynamic level of control is required to properly detect an emerging disease in a community. Dynamic querying features are invaluable when using existing surveillance systems to investigate outbreaks of newly emergent diseases or to identify cases of reportable diseases within data being captured for surveillance. The objective of the Advance Querying Tool (AQT) is to build a more flexible query interface for most web-based disease surveillance systems. This interface allows users to define and build their query as if they were writing a logical expression for a mathematical computation. The AQT allows users to develop, investigate, save, and share complex case definitions. It provides a flexible interface that accommodates both advanced and novice users, checks the validity of the expression as it is built, and marks errors for users.
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