Statement of Purpose In 2015, a record number of Americans died of an opioid-involved overdose, bringing devastation to families and communities in urban and rural communities alike. Now, more people in America die from drug overdoses than motor vehicle collisions. In response to this alarming public health crisis, the Office of National Drug Control Policy is supporting the development of opioid overdose monitoring systems in High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA). In collaboration, the University of Michigan Injury Centre and the Acute Care Research Unit (ACRU) are developing and piloting a real-time System for Opioid Overdose Surveillance (S.O.S.) in the Michigan HIDTA.
Approach We are developing a real-time surveillance system for fatal and non-fatal overdoses in Washtenaw County by linking data from two EDs, emergency medical services (EMS), and data from the Washtenaw County Medical Examiner (ME) office. Information for individuals with overdose will be linked through probabilistic matching to track individuals through their encounters with EMS and EDs for overdose and deaths including those that are reported by the MEs office. Using location data, overdoses will be geo-coded to identify overdose ‘hot-spots’ and this information will be available in a timely manner to public health and public safety officials.
Results We anticipate that S.O.S. will provide real-time surveillance of daily EMS and ED encounters for opioid overdose, supplemented periodically with ME data.
Conclusions By connecting opiate overdose data from the mentioned data sources, a comprehensive local real-time surveillance system may be developed. This system can serve as a prototype for a statewide overdose surveillance system.
Significance S.O.S. will increase the timeliness and quality of opioid overdose reporting and inform regional public safety and public health strategies to reduce fatal and non-fatal overdoses.
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