AbstractThe NJ Department of Health's syndromic surveillance system developed an algorithm to categorize heat-related illness (HRI) based on a patient's chief complaint during an emergency room visit, then matched these data with subsequent Uniform Billing (UB) diagnosis data. The overall sensitivity of the algorithm was 16% and the positive predictive value was 40%. Evaluation of a major heat event found both the sensitivity and positive predictive value increased to about 23% and 60%, respectively. While the HRI algorithm was relatively insensitive, sensitivity improved during major heat events and all excursions in HRI were identified using chief complaint data.
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