A survey of emergency department communicable disease reporting practices

Thomas Kirsch, Robert Shesser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A group of physicians, nurses, and administrators at all 11 hospitals in the District of Columbia were interviewed to elucidate each hospital emergency department's (ED) system for patient and public health notification of the diagnosis of legally reportable communicable diseases. The hospitals' reporting systems were divided into two groups. Three hospitals (27%) had reporting systems that were centered in the emergency department (EDS). Eight hospitals (73%) had disease reporting systems that depended primarily on extradepartmental personnel (HBS) for disease reporting. The EDS outperformed the HBS in several key areas of system performance. Greater attention needs to be paid by ED directors to assuring that their hospital's system is as accurate as possible and fulfills their jurisdiction's legal requirements for communicable disease reporting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-214
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1991


  • emergency department administration
  • infectious diseases
  • public health reporting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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