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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Electronic reporting of diagnostic laboratory test results from all health care sectors is a cornerstone of national preparedness and control of COVID-19 in Denmark

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  • K Schønning
  • Rbc Dessau
  • T G Jensen
  • N M Thorsen
  • C Wiuff
  • L Nielsen
  • S Gubbels
  • M Denwood
  • U H Thygesen
  • L E Christiansen
  • C H Møller
  • J K Møller
  • S Ellermann-Eriksen
  • C Østergaard
  • J Lam
  • N Abushalleeh
  • M Meaidi
  • S S Olsen
  • K Mølbak
  • M Voldstedlund
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The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented demand for real-time surveillance data in order to inform critical decision makers regarding the management of the pandemic. The aim of this review was to describe how the Danish national microbiology database, MiBa, served as a cornerstone for providing data to the real-time surveillance system by linkage to other nationwide health registries. The surveillance system was established on an existing IT health infrastructure and a close network between clinical microbiologists, information technology experts, and public health officials. In 2020, testing capacity for SARS-CoV-2 was ramped up from none to over 10,000 weekly PCR tests per 100,000 population. The crude incidence data mirrored this increase in testing. Real-time access to denominator data and patient registries enabled adjustments for fluctuations testing activity, providing robust data on crude SARS-CoV-2 incidence during the changing diagnostic and management strategies. The use of the same data for different purposes, for example, final laboratory reports, information to the public, contact tracing, public health, and science, has been a critical asset for the pandemic response. It has also raised issues concerning data protection and critical capacity of the underlying technical systems and key resources. However, even with these limitations, the setup has enabled decision makers to adopt timely interventions. The experiences from COVID-19 may motivate a transformation from traditional indicator-based public health surveillance to an all-encompassing information system based on access to a comprehensive set of data sources, including diagnostic and reference microbiology.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAPMIS - Journal of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)438-451
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 APMIS. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • COVID-19, electronic reporting, microbiological test results, national surveillance

ID: 65429758