AbstractWe evaluated the Singapore Ministry of Health's syndromic surveillance programmes which included the monitoring of polyclinic and emergency department attendances for acute diarrheal illness, acute upper respiratory illness, influenza-like illness, and acute conjunctivitis, to assess their attributes and identify areas of improvement. We found the current systems useful in tracking unusual increases in number of cases where both seasonality and short term trends were observable. The data provided by the surveillance systems were relatively accurate with minimal discrepancies. Representativeness was however lacking for primary healthcare facilities but not for hospitals. The existing syndromic surveillance systems are robust and can detect adverse public health events in an accurate and timely fashion. Nonetheless, they can be improved with introduction of new technologies and rolling out of electronic health records, integrating new and traditional information sources to provide faster, accurate data.
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