Public Health

Improving Efficiency and Streamlining Operations for Louisiana Public Health

Project Information

Office of Public Health, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals
Location:  New Orleans, Louisiana
Web Site:
Contact: Raoult Ratard MD, MPH & TM, FACPM
Louisiana State Epidemiologist

Client Benefits

Reduce paper and manual processing
Improve staff efficiency by streamlining operations
Increase transparency and early detection of epidemics through reporting and analytics
Created an informational asset for Epidemiology Data
Facilitates collaboration between regional health units and hospitals

Summary of Work

Infectious Disease Epidemiology Section requested help to support, maintain and enhance existing legacy information and data collection systems, as well as to develop new specialized systems for identifying and tracking outbreaks of infectious and communicable diseases.

Meeting with the principal Office of Public Health management staff, TEI analysts gathered and documented system requirements for each proposed system. Under the direction of our Chief Software Architect, our analysts developed intuitive browser designs for four of the most critical systems used by the Epidemiology Section. Using Microsoft’s ASP.Net architecture, our software developers improved overall system functionality by developing new algorithms for use with the existing database. Throughout the contract period, we used our standard information system development methodologies to design, program and all processes.

Essentially, TEI helped bring syndromic surveillance into the Internet age. In 2011, TEI had completed and implemented four major systems used by state epidemiologists to track infectious and communicable diseases. More recently, TEI developed a web application for Louisiana Tuberculosis (TB) Case Management that allows regional health units to manage and collaborate on Louisiana TB cases from various locations. TEI is currently under contract with DHH to migrate Louisiana Early Event Detection System database to SQL server from Oracle and expand the system to accept data from 300 additional emergency care facilities.

Louisiana Early Event Detection System (LEEDS)

The Louisiana Early Event Detection System (LEEDS) automatically processes emergency rooms and urgent care facility data from all over Louisiana into standardized reports that help predict epidemics in the early stages of an outbreak. TEI created the LEEDS system to streamline public health staff’s manual processes. Three main components: data transfer component, the data analysis processing component, and the reporting component encompass the LEEDS system. The data analysis processing component is a data extraction and transformation tool that allows the program administrator the ability to configure analysis algorithm settings, schedule data loads, review processing results and resolve data discrepancies before the data’s integration into the reporting component. The data is transformed based on disease tracking algorithms into a series of standardized reports for the hospitals and program administrators. With a click of a button, public health staff can process massive amounts of data that previously took weeks of manual processing.

Recently, TEI has completed the full migration of the LEEDS database to SQL server from Oracle in addition to several system enhancements such as increased batch processing speed, added user account management, and updated the system to acceptance and intake of HL7 files. We are also nearing completion on the system-wide expansion of accepting data from 300 additional emergency care facilities across the state.

Key Features

Real Time Data Updates
Retro Mapping
User-Friendly Web Interface
Configurable Code Tables
Robust Reporting Capabilities

Epistories, LADSS, & BITS Systems

The Epistories system gathers epidemiological data and narratives from hospitals and public health clinics throughout Louisiana. TEI improved the user interface and converted Epistories from a Java to Microsoft ASP.NET in the first six months of our original contract with DHH. This conversion eliminated the high support costs of the system and allowed TEI to create the Louisiana Animal Disease Surveillance System and Bioterrorism Incident Tracking System. The Louisiana Animal Disease Surveillance System (LADSS) is used by veterinarians to identify and monitor Arboviruses in animals. The Bio-Terrorism Incident Tracking System (BITS) was developed to meet the potential threats of bioterrorism.

Key Features

Case Management
Lab Component
E-mail Notification Component
User Profile Maintenance
Multiple Levels of User Security
Data Import Function
Search Abilities
Audit Trail
Configurable code tables
Robust Reporting Capabilities

Louisiana Tuberculosis Case Management System (LaTB)

The Louisiana Tuberculosis (LaTB) Case Management system will allow regional health units to manage and collaborate on Louisiana TB cases from various locations. Currently, TB users are manually transferring each regional MS Access database and merging each of the nine regional databases into one master database. The new web-based system was deployed in early 2018 and as of recent, TEI is working the the TB staff on system enhancements.

Key Features

Case Management Solution
Centralized Database of Patient Records
Real-Time Data Updates
User-Friendly Web Interface
Patient Tracking
Lab Data Component
User Security Management
Duplication Identification
Accessible from Any Regional Office
Robust Reporting Capabilities
Error Reduction
Seamless Collaboration for Health Units