Outbreaks of health care–associated influenza-like illness in France: Impact of electronic notification

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Abstract

Background

Mandatory notification of health care–associated (HA) infections, including influenza-like illness (ILI) outbreaks, has been implemented in France since 2001. In 2012, the system moved to online electronic notification of HA infections (e-SIN). The objectives of this study are to describe ILI outbreak notifications to Santé publique France (SPF), the French national public health agency, and to evaluate the impact of notification dematerialization.

Methods:

All notifications of HA ILI outbreaks between July 2001 and June 2015 were included. Notifications before and after e-SIN implementation were compared regarding notification delay and information exhaustiveness.

Results:

Overall, 506 HA ILI outbreaks were reported, accounting for 7,861 patients and health care professionals. Median delay between occurrence of the first case and notification was, respectively, 32 and 13 days before and after e-SIN utilization (P < .001). Information exhaustiveness was improved by electronic notification regarding HA status (8.5% of missing data before and 2.3% after e-SIN, P = .003), hypotheses of cause (25.4% of missing data before vs 8.0% after e-SIN, P < .001), and level of event control (23.7% of missing data before vs 7.5% after e-SIN, P < .001).

Conclusions:

HA influenza notifications, including HA ILI or influenza, to health authorities are essential to guide decisional instances and health care practices. Electronic notifications have improved the timeliness and quality of information transmitted.

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