Business intelligence systems in the field of epidemiology. The case of Greece

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Καραγεώργου, Μαρίνα
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By epidemiological surveillance we mean the systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of epidemiological data for the purpose of public health measures. The need for effective epidemiological surveillance in a country arises from the need for accurate and specific knowledge of the epidemiology of diseases in its population, early detection of epidemic outbreaks, identification of individual cases of disease indicating intervention in the patient's environment, evaluation of public health interventions / strategies - monitoring the progress of the objectives set and, finally, understanding the health problems of the population and their natural course. In Greece, epidemiological surveillance is carried out by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (HCDCP) through the Basic System of Epidemiological Surveillance for infectious diseases, which includes, inter alia, the mandatory declaration network, which consists of the Compulsory Statement System Disease and the System of Laboratory Declaration. The System of Compulsory Diseases is the most widespread system for the detection and surveillance of infectious diseases, which has been operating for many years in most countries of the world. It is based on the existence of an institutional framework that obliges doctors to declare specific infectious diseases. But with this system, there is a significant sign of diseases, which for many diseases reaches 80-90%, as well as a significant delay in the declaration of diseases. Given that public health risks are not static, instead of changing over time, periodic review of the priorities of epidemiological surveillance in countries is considered imperative. Technological developments and the advancement of scientific knowledge also influence the surveillance strategy or methods. Progress in the field of information technology opens new possibilities in the field of surveillance, reducing its costs and increasing its scope. In this diploma thesis we studied the Business Intelligence systems in the field of Epidemiology. Technological development in the field of computers provides the appropriate tools for the automation of the system, with the aim of direct recording of cases, the correct processing of data and the extraction of reports, the data of which will be addressed to specific users at a time. The development of the system is done with the SQL Server Management Studio and Microsoft Power BI tools, which are used to create a database of logs and to connect to a Data Warehouse as well as to create reports respectively. The first chapter discusses the concerns about the existence of an automated Epidemiological Surveillance system, which led to the purpose of writing this diplomatic and finally elucidated the sources of the literature. The second chapter introduces the term e-Health, which covers a wide range of information and communication technology tools aimed at better prevention, diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and management of health and lifestyle. Some of these applications are also mentioned, such as Electronic Health Record, Computerized physician order entry, ePrescription, Clinical Decision Support System, Telemedicine, Health Knowledge Management, Virtual Healthcare teams, and mHealth. Chapter three presents Business Intelligence (BI), a technology-driven process for analyzing data and presenting informational information that helps business executives, business managers and other end-users make more informed business decisions. In addition, it is analyzed in its core parts, such as Decision Support Systems, Online Analytical Processing, Executive Information Systems and Data Warehouses, through a historical review, and several uses in the field of healthcare. The fourth chapter concerns the study of two cases in Poland and Stockholm, where "intelligent" technologies were used in the field of epidemiology. More specifically, in the case of Poland, control panels of epidemiological data are produced, which are derived from various sources and, in the case of Stockholm, a system is developed whereby the GIS software achieves the storage, analysis and visualization of environmental and epidemiological data spatially. The fifth chapter defines the existing Epidemiological Surveillance System in Greece, which is carried out mainly through three surveillance systems: Mandatory Notification System, Primary Health Care Sentinel Surveillance System, and Laboratory Surveillance System. The various shortcomings and possible failures of this system are also highlighted. The sixth chapter describes the practical part of the thesis. Specifically, within the framework of the development of the Epidemiology Information System, we conducted a feasibility study, analysis of systems and requirements, design and implementation of the Data Warehouse. The need for a platform to facilitate the recording, processing and extraction of data has been identified. Finally, we have reached a number of conclusions regarding the benefits of an Epidemiological Professional Intelligence System. In particular, the reduction of time and errors in the registration and processing of data due to the human factor is an important achievement. Also, the cost reduction due to the reduction of the required man-hours should be taken into account in the advantages of the system. Notification of possible outbreaks could be a very useful tool in the hands of doctors and HCDCP. In general, the need to develop and improve Business Intelligence systems in the field of epidemiology is becoming increasingly imperative, with positive results.
Data warehouse, eHealth, Βusiness intelligence, Epidemiological surveillance