Implementation of Real-Time Laboratory-Based InfluenzaSurveillance System, a Network of 20 Hospitals in Bangkok DusitMedical Services Public Company Limited, Thailand

Phunlerd Piyaraj, Nira Pet-hoi, Chaiyos Kunanusont, Supanee Sangiamsak, Somsak Wankijcharoen, Jarupa Kanjanakornhirun, Veerasak Kritsanapraphan, Supaiboon Chumai, Paithoon Boonma


OBJECTIVE: We describe the Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Surveillance System(BDMS-SS) and use of surveillance efforts for influenza as an example of surveillancecapability in near real-time among a network of 20 hospitals in the Bangkok DusitMedical Services group (BDMS).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The BDMS has a comprehensive network oflaboratory, epidemiologic, and early warning surveillance systems which represents thelargest body of information from private hospitals across Thailand. Hospitals andclinical laboratories have deployed automatic reporting mechanisms since 2010 andhave effectively improved timeliness of laboratory data reporting. In April 2017, thecapacity of near real-time influenza surveillance in BDMS was found to have ademonstrated and sustainable capability.

RESULTS: : From October 2010 to April 2017, the real-time laboratory basedsurveillance system automatically uploaded test results and associated data which were24 hours available to affiliated physicians, infectious nurses, local and national publichealth users. A total of 482,789 subjects were tested and 86,177 (17.84%) cases ofinfluenza were identified. Of those positive cases, 40,552 (47.0%) were influenza typeB, 31,412 (36.4%) were influenza A unspecified subtype, 6,181 (7.2%) were influenzaA H1N1, 4,001 (4.6%) were influenza A H3N2, 3,835 (4.4%) were influenza Aseasonal and 196 (0.4%) were respiratory syncytial virus.

CONCLUSION: This system was the first near real-time influenza surveillance systemin Thailand. This illustrates a high level of awareness and willingness among the BDMShospital network to report emerging infectious diseases, and highlights the robust andsensitive nature of BDMS’s surveillance system. It demonstrates the flexibility of thesurveillance systems in BDMS to adapt to major communicable diseases. BDMS canmore actively collaborate with national counterparts and use its expertise to strengthenglobal and regional surveillance capacity in Southeast Asia, in order to secureadvances for a world safe and secure from infectious disease.

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