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Introduction to Public Health Surveillance

This one-hour online course introduces public health surveillance concepts and principles for public health workers who have little or no prior training in epidemiology.

Quick Facts

Topics: Epidemiology, Infectious Disease & Immunizations, Law and Policy & Ethics, Program Planning & Evaluation

Format: Online course

Time: 1.5 hours

Cost: Free

NWCPHP courses are accessed through PH LearnLink. See help.

Description

Surveillance is a key function of public health, but what does it mean? This course introduces public health surveillance concepts and principles for public health workers who have little or no prior training in epidemiology. You'll learn about surveillance systems in local, state, and national public health practice and how these important systems are used in tracking diseases and other public health threats. This is part of a nine-part series on epidemiology.

Learning Objectives

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Define public health surveillance
  • Describe the different uses of surveillance systems
  • Describe the legal basis for disease reporting
  • List the steps in establishing a surveillance system
  • Explain the process for evaluating surveillance systems
  • List examples of surveillance systems at the local, state, and national levels

Intended Audience

Public health practitioners, especially those working in smaller local and state health departments, with little or no prior training in epidemiology.

Quick Facts

Topics: Epidemiology, Infectious Disease & Immunizations, Law and Policy & Ethics, Program Planning & Evaluation

Format: Online course

Time: 1.5 hours

Cost: Free

NWCPHP courses are accessed through PH LearnLink. See help.

Epidemiology Series

What Is Epidemiology in Public Health?

Data Interpretation for Public Health Professionals

Basic Infectious Disease Concepts in Epidemiology

Introduction to Public Health Surveillance

Introduction to Outbreak Investigation

Study Types in Epidemiology

Measuring Risk in Epidemiology

Cause and Effect in Epidemiology

Screening in Public Health Practice

Format

Web-based, Flash presentation. This online course has an audio narration and interactive exercises and scenarios. This course should take about 1.5 hours to complete.

Course Instructor

James L. Gale, MD, MS
Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology
Northwest Center for Public Health Practice
University of Washington, School of Public Health

Co-provider

This course is co-provided by the University of Washington School of Nursing. The University of Washington School of Nursing is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Credits

Participants who successfully complete the course are eligible to receive a certificate for 1.5 contact hours for a processing fee of $40.

Technical Requirements

This course requires certain software and browser plugins to be installed. See our Technical Requirements.

Accessibility

This online training course is audio narrated. A print version is available in the Supplemental Material section at the bottom of this page. Please note that the print version does not include interactive exercises, quizzes, or the final assessment. To receive a print version of the quizzes in this course, or if you have any difficulties, please contact nwcphp@u.washington.edu.

Supplemental Material

If you would like to obtain a print copy of the audio narration before beginning the course, download the course transcript below.

Competencies

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