Disease Surveillance System

The Disease Surveillance System (DSS) facilitates the monitoring and monthly reporting of key Infection Control & Prevention (ICP) and related safety indicators, to the Ministry of Health, so that potential outbreak situations can be detected, triggering the corresponding alerts if necessary.

Previously, information required for disease surveillance and infection control was a manual process which required nurses to collate information from multiple laboratories and administration reports in order to track and monitor infection rates and potential disease outbreaks.

The DSS is able to perform this process automatically on SingHealth’s enterprise data warehouse – the electronic Health Intelligence System (eHIntS). With the system, users can be alerted of anomalies in the rate of infection on a day-to-day basis. Users also have the flexibility to drill down data specifics (e.g. to the exact patient, specialty, ward, room and bed), to analyse and study both current and past outbreaks and treatment outcomes for better decision-making. The system also automates monthly MOH reporting for the diseases, freeing infection control nurses from the mundane task of manual information collection.

The DSS significantly improves the turnaround time required to gather and consolidate relevant data in the event of an outbreak, where every minute is critical. While 6 hours were previously required, it now only takes 30 minutes, greatly enhancing situational awareness during outbreak situations, and allowing for timely response.

Automation of monitoring and reporting enhances clinician productivity, enabling manpower savings of an estimated 4,500 man-hours annually.

The project started with Hepatitis C surveillance for Singapore General Hospital (SGH) in June 2016. It has since been scaled to other institutions under SingHealth, such as KK Women's and Children's Hospital and Sengkang General Hospital. It has also been extended for the monitoring of disease indicators, including MRSA Bacteremia infections, other hospital-acquired infections (VRE, CP-CRE and C Difficile), as well as the monitoring of antibiotics utilisation.