Public health surveillance systems are fundamental mechanisms that help governments make large scale public welfare decisions. Also, take the existing state of chaos and panic in the global health sector into consideration, like the COVID-19 pandemic, making informed decisions. You cannot blame yourself for wondering what the authorities are doing or can do to improve health surveillance around you.
Well, you have come to the right place to educate yourself about all the ways to improve it!
The surveillance mechanisms in public health are essential for governments and authorities to aid several vital decisions. Without the grass-root level analysis and interpretation of public health data, ministries regarding health policies and programs can often feel clueless.
That is the level of importance of health surveillance mechanisms, especially during a global pandemic where healthcare authorities’ timely action against the virus can easily save countless lives. Hence, it is crucial to improve existing surveillance systems.
These systems often include local healthcare facilities reporting all their patient details to the government authorities over a fixed period. Further, enabling the healthcare analysts to extract valuable insights to support the officials and make effective healthcare decisions.
Although this method has grown to become out-of-date, there are ways to improve the overall process. Following are six easy ways to improve public health surveillance systems.
Six ways to Improve Public Health Surveillance:
- Educating the relevant authorities:
Educating those already in a position to make decisions regarding public health or those in line can be the best method to facilitate it. Often a question might pop up like what can you do with a masters in public health degree?
The option of gaining a degree in the domain can be lucrative enough to motivate relevant individuals to pursue it. Such degrees can effectively help them visualize a career path. One can lead them to positions where they can tackle and improve wide-scale public health problems surrounding all of us.
- Installing real-time communicating technology between authorities:
The existing data collection process at laboratories and health centers has grown inefficient over some time and reporting. It is time-consuming and can lead to delays in decisions by the authorities, consequently risking countless lives in the process.
That is why installing a high speed, and durable mechanism is necessary at both ends—facilitating swift and secure real-time data transmission to the authorities. That will help you to store and ensure efficient use of such data. Such a web-based system is easy to create in this age of technology and is necessary to fulfill the hour’s need.
- Create a modernized system for data collection:
A central data hub for all the health ministries of a country can prove a creative solution. It can be an efficient and transparent mechanism for entire nations to be part of such a program. A sound and secure data hub can prove to be an effective solution for the decision-making authorities.
As to have real-time access to medical data from various sources on a single platform. Such data is then easily analyzable geographically and through other measures to discover critical insights. These insights can further aid in making informed decisions and rational health policies in favor of public welfare.
- Electronic Health Records:
The introduction of Electronic Health Records (EHR‘s) into the mainstream healthcare industry has the potential to become a handy tool. Such digital records entail the possibility of extensive medical history management for each individual, including all minute details.
Apart from helping the healthcare system to understand a patient better and treat him/her better, EHRs are essential for public health surveillance. They allow the health ministries to have access to wide-scale medical records down to each active individual. Simultaneously, it helps the authorities assess the threats and diseases in detail and use accurate statistics to tackle them.
- Replace manual expertise for accuracy:
Often the cause of delays in the data collection and transmission of the existing surveillance process is manual inefficiency. It is commonly the cause of ill-expertise in handling lab equipment or human errors in data collection that authorities end up with obscure data.
We can only eradicate such a problem by minimizing human contribution in the entire process of medical tests and more. Several medical innovations, for example, digital thermometers, are replacing existing such practices. Consequently, removing the doubt factor of human judgment in these essential scenarios.
- Enhanced data collection technologies:
The medical world has fast seen a shift from regular checkups to smart devices to replace the practice. Among these, the use of smart medical bracelets, necklaces, and other wearable devices has grown significantly over the past decade.
The primary purpose of these bracelets is to monitor the vital signs and other specifics of a particular patient. Also, to send alerts to the relevant medical practitioners in case of the vitals surpassing their limits. Such technology can be useful in the collection of data for appropriate decision-making authorities as well.
In conclusion, the current public health surveillance methods can prove insufficient with a rising rate of medical threats. Such shortfalls can often lead to terrible consequences in the means of lives and resources through a delay in actions. Hence, the authorities responsible for planning for the public’s welfare must improve their surveillance mechanisms to operate better.
Following the six basic ways mentioned above, healthcare institutions and governmental authorities can significantly improve public health systems. Despite the fact, countless authorities worldwide are considerably better in their public healthcare sectors. A large proportion of the global population is still missing out on all such necessary measures.