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National Communicable Disease Surveillance System: A review on Information and Organizational Structures in Developed Countries

Hossein Bagherian, Mohammad Farahbaksh, Reza Rabiei, Hamid Moghaddasi, Farkhondeh Asadi.


Introduction: To obtain necessary information for managing communicable diseases, different countries have developed national communicable diseases surveillance systems (NCDSS). Exploiting the lesson learned from the leading countries in development of surveillance systems provides the foundation for developing these systems in other countries. In this study, the information and organizational structure of NCDSS in developed countries were reviewed. Methods: The study reviewed publications found on the organizational structure, content and data flow of NCDSS in the United States of America (USA), Australia and Germany that were published in English between 2000 and 2016. The publications were identified by searching the CINAHL, Science Direct, ProQuest, PubMed, Google Scholar databases and the related databases in selected countries. Results: Thirty-four studies were investigated. All of the reviewed countries have implemented the NCDSS. In majority of countries the department of health (DoH) is responsible for managing this system. The reviewed countries have created a minimum data set for reporting communicable diseases data and information. Conclusion: For developing NCDSS, establishing coordinator centers, setting the effective policies and procedures, providing appropriate communication infrastructures for data exchange and defining a communicable diseases minimum data set are essential.

Key words: Communicable diseases, surveillance system, data content, data flow, organizational structure.

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