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In Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA

OBJECTIVE : Disease surveillance systems are expanding using electronic health records (EHRs). However, there are many challenges in this regard. In the present study, the solutions and challenges of implementing EHR-based disease surveillance systems (EHR-DS) have been reviewed.

MATERIALS AND METHODS : We searched the related keywords in ProQuest, PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, Embase, and Scopus. Then, we assessed and selected articles using the inclusion and exclusion criteria and, finally, classified the identified solutions and challenges.

RESULTS : Finally, 50 studies were included, and 52 unique solutions and 47 challenges were organized into 6 main themes (policy and regulatory, technical, management, standardization, financial, and data quality). The results indicate that due to the multifaceted nature of the challenges, the implementation of EHR-DS is not low cost and easy to implement and requires a variety of interventions. On the one hand, the most common challenges include the need to invest significant time and resources; the poor data quality in EHRs; difficulty in analyzing, cleaning, and accessing unstructured data; data privacy and security; and the lack of interoperability standards. On the other hand, the most common solutions are the use of natural language processing and machine learning algorithms for unstructured data; the use of appropriate technical solutions for data retrieval, extraction, identification, and visualization; the collaboration of health and clinical departments to access data; standardizing EHR content for public health; and using a unique health identifier for individuals.

CONCLUSIONS : EHR systems have an important role in modernizing disease surveillance systems. However, there are many problems and challenges facing the development and implementation of EHR-DS that need to be appropriately addressed.

Aliabadi Ali, Sheikhtaheri Abbas, Ansari Hossein


challenges, disease surveillance, electronic health record, public health, solutions