Paralysis Analysis: Investigating Paralysis Visit Anomalies in New Jersey

Teresa Hamby, Stella Tsai, Carol Genese, Andrew Walsh, Lauren Bradford, Edward Lifshitz


The NJ Department of Health's syndromic surveillance system developed an algorithm to categorize heat-related illness (HRI) based on a patient's chief complaint during an emergency room visit, then matched these data with subsequent Uniform Billing (UB) diagnosis data. The overall sensitivity of the algorithm was 16% and the positive predictive value was 40%. Evaluation of a major heat event found both the sensitivity and positive predictive value increased to about 23% and 60%, respectively. While the HRI algorithm was relatively insensitive, sensitivity improved during major heat events and all excursions in HRI were identified using chief complaint data.

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Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 *