Contact tracing

The field of health informatics is rather large and EpiConcept has created many different information systems. We have selected a few of them that represent certain categories of information systems.

Information systems concerning investigations of cases of disease allows one to make the correct connections between different patients. This allows the follow up of an index patient who has an infectious disease and the people he or she has had contact with.

The Damoc tuberculosis application

The Damoc application’s main goal is to track tuberculoses index cases and their contacts which are identified by follow-up teams investigation the case. For reasons of public health, having one single patient database allowing investigators to rapidly know the history of a person is indispensible. The goal of this application is to be able to enter the follow-up information about a person and indicate which situation(s) he or she is known by the screening centre. Thus, if a name shows up years later, it is possible to access his or her previous files as well as be able to see that this person is currently being followed up through another investigation.

Technology

The application is based on Voozanoo 3.4.2. The technical particularity of Damoc is that an index case can also be a contact of someone else, or a contact could turn into an index case. A custom module was created to automate the mailings (printed letters) to individuals to request them to visit the centre at programmed screening dates. Another custom module was created to manage a catalogue of specific statistics which include parts of the activity report for the anti-tuberculosis centres.

Organisation

This collaborative project is aided by the organisation of a users group. Twice per year, approximately thirty people gather together (one or two persons from each anti-tuberculosis centre) for a day to exchange ideas and best practices and to agree upon the priorities for the next set of functions desired for the application.

Collaboration

The use a mailing list has been successful in allowing for the community of users to ask questions or give advice throughout the year. A dedicated address for internal ticketing also allows each centre to send practical questions to be answered by EpiConcept.

Advantages

The advantage of this system resides in the individual patient follow-up. To be able to know at any moment what kind of examination (even for previous years) or follow-up the patient has already had, allows each centre to save time in better adapting the patient’s follow-up programme as well as limiting the risks of contagion or transmission.  

Voozanoo standard / custom development: 75/25

As stated above, there were two significant custom modules that were added to the application. The basic emailing system and an data analysis module's basic functionalities were not sufficient for this project. The standard Voozanoo was used to create approximately ¾ of the application while ¼ of it was customised development.