Syndromic Surveillance

Syndromic Surveillance (previously known as LEEDS) 

The goal of syndromic surveillance is to rapidly detect early warning signs of trends that might affect the health of the public by monitoring for increases in the occurrence of specific symptoms and syndromes. By utilizing this type of pre-diagnostic data, syndromic surveillance enables earlier detection of disease trends and outbreaks, and therefore, more rapid interventions to interrupt the spread of illness in the community.

The Infectious Disease Epidemiology Program (IDEpi), in collaboration with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP), are responsible for syndromic surveillance data collection, analysis, and distribution at the department level and beyond. Syndromic surveillance data is collected in near real-time from emergency departments (ED) across the state. Collected data is de-identified but includes key data elements such as patient demographic information, chief complaint, and coded diagnoses.

Louisiana Sanitary Code

In April 2013, syndromic surveillance data became reportable in accordance with the Sanitary Code of the State of Louisiana (LAC 51 109). All conditions seen at the Emergency Departments of Acute Care Hospitals are reportable. The chief complaint text, or International Classification of Disease Code (ICD), shall be reported utilizing automated, electronic reporting within one business day of the visit.

How Infectious Disease Epidemiology Uses Surveillance

There have been various projects involving syndromic surveillance data and some of its potential uses include:

  • Tracking outbreaks and emerging conditions
  • Identifying notifiable conditions
  • Monitoring travel-associated visits of interest
  • Tracking ED visits related to mosquito-borne illness, influenza, and other conditions
  • Monitoring trends in illness and symptoms
  • Monitoring trends in opioid overdose incidents
  • Monitoring trends in non-fatal suicide outcomes such as ideation and attempts
  • Tracking ED visits for heat-related illness
  • Monitoring illness and injury visits during weather events or large community events 

National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP)

Data from participating facilities is sent directly to the  CDC's National Syndromic Surveillance Program, and to ESSENCE (BioSense) data platform, utilizing secure file transfer. Access to data is restricted to specific IDEpi and Louisiana Department of Health staff, but allows Louisiana data to contribute to syndromic surveillance at the national level.   

ParticipationID Epi is currently only accepting data from emergency departments. The required data format follows private healthcare information newtwork, or PHIN, messaging standards and uses secure file transfer protocol (SFTP). Plans to expand to urgent care facilities are in development. If your facility is interested in participating or has questions, reach out to:


Syndromic Surveillance Coordinator: Megan Jespersen, MPH
1450 Poydras Street, Ste. 1641
New Orleans, LA 70112
Telephone: (504) 568-8309
 Fax: (504) 568-8290