New Disease Reporting System Making Its Way Across DoD

By Hugh Cox, Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center Public Affairs

NAVY AND MARINE CORPS PUBLIC HEALTH CENTER (NMCPHC), PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Navy Disease Reporting System (NDRSi), launched by the Navy in January 2008, has now been officially adopted as the disease reporting system of choice by most of DoD and various other Federal agencies.

NDRSi, or DRSi as it’s referred to across service lines, is a secure, web-based medical event reporting system, created to replace the 10-year old legacy Naval Disease Reporting System while taking advantage of improvements in Department of Defense information technology resources. 

“This new system provides a common platform for reporting medical events supporting Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Joint Task Force Capital Medical Region,” said Ms. Asha Riegodedios, staff epidemiologist with the NMCPHC and program coordinator. “Joint reporting brings us closer to standardized capabilities across the DOD, preparing the DOD for more timely and efficient monitoring of disease threats.”

According to Dr. Christopher Rennix, Department Head for the Epi Data Center with NMCPHC, DRSi allows access to critical public health information simultaneously at the local, regional, and higher headquarters level as soon as a report is submitted into the electronic system. 
“All users access and speak from one single database,” said Rennix.

This new version includes a state of the art feature (the Case Finding module) that allows local users to view "potential" medical events in their Area of Responsibility based on CHCS laboratory results. Users can seamlessly file Medical Event Reports (MER) from these case finding records if local investigation warrants a MER.

“Another key feature of the program is that it provides a pick-list of laboratory tests results that are positive or suspect for 38 medical events to prompt users to investigate and enter a report if true,” said Riegodedios.

Additionally, separate screens are designed for each reportable medical event, utilizing pull-down selections to reduce typographical errors, and shares common data from previous entries to reduce data entry time.

DRSi also provides local reporting, tracking, and trending capability through an encrypted data export function. Each reporting location can export records that it created into a spreadsheet.

According to Mr. Azad Al-Koshnaw, program administrator, the system is remarkably flexible - able to rapidly accommodate additional reporting requirements for emerging public health concerns such as novel H1N1 Influenza.