Infectious diseases notification practices, Victoria 2013
Introduction: Infectious disease notification practices in Victoria were reviewed to identify areas for potential improvement.
Methods: Confirmed or probable cases of certain infectious diseases required to be notified to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Victoria in 2013, excluding elevated blood lead, foodborne or water-borne illness with 2 or more related cases and chlamydial infection, were analysed according to: notification source of doctor ± laboratory vs. laboratory-only; routine follow-up by public health staff for selected conditions vs. not routine; priority for Indigenous status reporting for 18 priority conditions with a target of ≥ 95% completeness vs. other conditions with a target of ≥ 80% completeness; and urgency of notification (conditions requiring immediate [same day] notification vs. conditions requiring notification within 5 days).
Results: Almost half (49%) the 34,893 confirmed and probable cases were notified by laboratory report alone. Indigenous status was complete for 48% of cases. Indigenous status was more likely to be completed for conditions with active vs. no active follow-up (RR 1.88 (95% CI 1.84-1.92)) and priority conditions for Indigenous status reporting vs. other conditions (RR 1.62 (95% CI 1.59-1.66)). Among conditions without active follow-up, doctor-notified cases had more complete Indigenous status reporting than laboratory-only notified cases (86% vs. 6%, RR 15.06 (95% CI 14.15-16.03)). Fewer notifications requiring same day notification were received within the legislated time frame (59%) than notifications required to be notified within 5 days (90%).
Discussion: DHHS Victoria handles a large volume of infectious disease notifications. Incomplete Indigenous status reporting, particularly for conditions without active follow-up, and delayed notification of conditions requiring immediate attention warrant attention. These findings will be used to improve notification practices in Victoria.
Publication titleCommunicable Diseases Intelligence Quarterly Report
Department/SchoolTasmanian School of Medicine
PublisherAustralian Government. Department of Health and Ageing. Office of Health Protection, Surveillance Branch
Place of publicationAustralia
Rights statementCopyright 2016 Commonwealth of Australia