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Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics

ESSENCE is a tool that enables the user to conduct syndromic surveillance, quickly identifying and describing new and emerging threats, potential outbreaks and other public health concerns that could result in mission degradation.

By using already existing clinical electronic medical record data, ESSENCE is useful in quickly assessing public health threats. It also supports the evaluation, planning, and implementation of public health practice, disease prevention, and emergency response ( BUMEDINST 6220.12C). For more information about surveillance policy and guidance, visit our Medical Surveillance and Medical Event Reporting page.

Log in to ESSENCE

(Account holders only)


Navy and Marine Corps Force Health Protection Command (NMCFHPC) continues to develop user guidance and dashboards for Navy users to improve routine surveillance activities and make data decisions. The command is currently identifying and implementing process improvements to try and expand surveillance capabilities for in-garrison and operational environments. This additional function would increase the surveillance signal for field and operational components to maintain a pulse on disease activity, globally. Present guidance informs users on how to gain access to ESSENCE, integrate program functions for surveillance, and how to maintain and complete training. As evolution of the program continues supplementary user direction and training will be included and/or updated to reflect program changes and improvements.

ESSENCE Registration Guide [CaC-enabled]:

This guide provides step-by-step instructions to assist Navy users through the process of obtaining an DoD ESSENCE account.

Quick Reference Checklist for ESSENCE Registration:

A reference guide to refer to when requesting access to ESSENCE. This checklist provides an outline to support the end user when completing this process allowing the agency to successfully create a user profile.

Defense Medical Information System (DMIS) ID(s):

DMIS IDs are recognized within the DoD as the controlling standard for both medical and military facility identification and cost/workload classification. The DHA publishes DMIS ID Tables monthly for the MHS.

Viewing and Creating Alerts:

NMCFHPC encourages the use of dashboards for routine surveillance (see below). If desired, users can also learn how to view and create alerts, which provides notification for exceedances for any saved queries.



Dashboards are available within ESSENCE to supports the early identification and detection of potential threats for end users to be able to successfully conduct surveillance for multiple platforms within the area of responsibility at a glance. support and expand surveillance activities to ease the process of monitoring and identification of specific trends whether annually, monthly, weekly, or seasonally. The dashboards can be designed to meet command/unit or installation intent, enabling a quick analysis of potential threats occurring within a population. This capability allows for early detection, leadership awareness and implementation of best practices to prevent potential disruption and/or degradation to mission efforts and readiness.

The key dashboards for MTF surveillance are:
Winter Respiratory Image
Winter Respiratory

Provides a weekly review of data and trend trajectories for respiratory diseases/illness to include: Influenza, Influenza like Illnesses (ILIs), Upper Respiratory Infections (URIs), Pneumonia, Positive COVID tests and other COVID Like Illnesses (CLIs).

Surveillance Overview Image
Surveillance Overview by Week

Provides a broad overview of all data encounters and trend trajectories, encompassing weekly counts for all Disease & Injury Categories to include: Respiratory, Gastrointestinal (GI), Injury, Rash, Reportable Medical Events (RMEs), and other medical events.

Please contact your respective Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit (NEPMU) at for consultative support.


Collaboration established by Center for Disease Control (CDC) to collect, analyze, and share electronic patient encounter data from various data sources (emergency departments, urgent and ambulatory care centers, inpatient healthcare settings and laboratories). Unlike DoD ESSENCE, NSSP data is largely collected from emergency departments rather than clinics, NSSP also includes some DoD data.

Limited Access

Users at Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) are typically those who are in states with program availability (NC, AZ, DC, VA, NY, MD, GA, FL and NJ) and only members within these locations can submit access request for accounts.

To Request Access

or to be added to the distribution lists for upcoming training opportunities from the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division (AFHSD), please email:

When requesting access make sure to write “NSSP Access Requested” in the subject line.

Be sure to include full name and state of the MTF where you are billeted.

Trouble logging into NSSP

Contact the NSSP Service Desk at

Training Resources

    • Basic Course: DHA US046-V5 (CUI) (1.5 hrs)

    ◦ This course introduces the biosurveillance system ESSENCE Version 5 (v5). ESSENCE v5 is based on the commercially available ESSENCE developed by the Johns Hopkins University Advanced Physics Laboratory. Users will learn a brief overview of syndromic surveillance, the tools and how to use ESSENCE v5, and the steps to conduct syndromic surveillance at their assigned MTF(s) with ESSENCE.

    • Advanced Course: DHA US465 (CUI) (1.5 hrs)

    ◦ This course covers less frequently used and more advanced features and is a continuation of the basic training course (DHA-US046).

    > Archived Disease Surveillance monthly training videos and presentation slides on ESSENCE topics are available at: Topics discussed include ways to optimally configure ESSENCE for routine surveillance and how to use ESSENCE to understand a surveillance population.
    > ESSENCE Online Training: Center for Disease Control’s Training Modules

    ◦ Six self-paced modules instruct and assess your understanding of concepts being presented. Topics include overviews of ESSENCE, syndromic surveillance, basic and advanced ESSENCE system components, ESSENCE Chief Complaint Processor, and ESSENCE alerting algorithms.

    ◦ Learn how to perform routine tasks (e.g. create queries, analyze data).

  3. Additional Key Resources
    > Creating your own custom queries: Guide on how to write free-text queries.

    > Webinar on using queries: Presentation on how to use queries in ESSENCE. In addition to teaching the basic mechanics of the application, the presentation will explore advanced techniques for utilizing queries in features like myESSENCE, advanced graphing, and data downloads.

    ESSENCE Training on Using Queries

    > ICD-9/ICD-10-CM coding reference: Website designed for the fast lookup of all current American ICD-10-CM (diagnosis) and ICD-10-PCS (procedure) codes. 

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