Electronic Reporting of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease From an Emergency Department

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Background and Objectives:

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a clinically diagnosed condition that is preventable and underreported. We developed an electronic emergency department (ED) PID reporting system by using an automatic and secure system to send computerized clinician PID diagnoses to the state health department.


The goal of this study was to assess if electronic transmission of ED PID data could enhance the completeness and timeliness of PID surveillance.

Study Design:

We conducted a retrospective chart review.


To validate electronic ED diagnoses, we reviewed charts of 157 women with 7 clinicians’ diagnoses compatible with PID. We determined which women met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) PID surveillance case definition and determined the positive predictive values of electronic ED diagnoses of PID. We compared completeness of electronic PID reporting with state sexually transmitted disease surveillance.


Three diagnoses were appropriate for electronic PID surveillance. Information on women with these diagnoses is sent daily to the health department with no extra effort needed from ED clinicians. Less than 10% of women who met the CDC PID case definition were reported within 6 months through conventional methods.


Electronic ED surveillance will improve completeness and timeliness of PID reporting.

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