Disaster Data Collection

Revised September 2022, June 2016, August 2007

Originally approved October 2000


The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) believes key stakeholders should develop real-time syndromic surveillance to capture a majority of clinical illnesses and injury patterns on a mass scale. Early identification can improve the response to an incident or reduce an epidemic’s potential, leading to a reduction of morbidity and mortality, as well as overall cost.

ACEP supports real-time health system capacity surveillance to identify health system constraints and availability during periods of disaster related surge. Accurate health system surveillance is crucial to achieving equitable health system access during disasters.

ACEP further supports prospective and retrospective disaster data collection and research which is critical for future disaster preparedness and response. Accurate data collection in a disaster can be difficult without government mandate and assistance.

Therefore, ACEP supports the following:

  • EMS and public health systems and agencies play an active role in real-time disaster data collection and sharing.
  • Real-time reporting of all injuries and illnesses related to officially declared disasters and terrorist events.
  • Real-time use of local health agency disaster collection databases to track disaster-related injuries and illnesses to enhance local disaster response.
  • Real-time cross health system bed and resource availability data platforms (i.e., staffing, equipment, PPE)
  • Real-time syndromic and health system data platforms be incorporated into routine public health and health system operations.
  • A coordinated response across health care and emergency response agencies for the purpose of a public health syndromic surveillance network to identify an infectious disease outbreak or other public health concerns.
  • Documentation of disaster related ICD-10 codes for the purposes of data and research.

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