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Abdulwahhab Alshammari

Graduated: August 23, 2019

Thesis/Dissertation Title:

Developing and Evaluating a Prototype Communicable Disease Web-based Clinical Reporting Tool

Reporting reportable diseases within a time-frame is considered a cornerstone of any public health surveillance system. The purpose of surveillance is to empower decision makers to act by providing timely and accurate data. Conducting surveillance requires a cycle of collecting and reporting individual cases by solo healthcare providers or healthcare facilities to the local/public health department. Healthcare providers are familiar with the requirements to report reportable diseases, but compliance is a challenge.
Novel influenza has been a reportable disease since the 2007 legislation. Pandemic influenza is caused by novel influenza that is introduced into a population where some of this population has low immunity to the novel influenza, which increases the mortality rate. In the past 120 years, there have been six well-known international novel influenza spread. The deadliest novel influenza epidemic happened in 1918. That year the Spanish Influenza (H1N1) infected about 500 million people and caused the death of an estimated 20 – 50 million. Other novel infections similarly need to be reported and track. Two examples in the last five years are Middle East Respiratory virus and Zika virus.
I developed a Web-based reporting tool prototype to help healthcare providers in reporting communicable diseases that are required to be tracked such as novel influenza cases to authorities based on the state’s official case report form. The overarching goal was to develop and evaluate this prototype. My aims were: 1) Understanding the problems within the reportable diseases reporting process from healthcare providers to healthcare authorities , 2) Develop and test a prototype Web-based reporting tool to help improving the reporting process, and 3) Evaluate the prototype Web-based reporting tool .
The result of Aim 1 was identifying gaps between states’ reporting guidelines and states’ case report forms at individual state level and across states. The identified gaps helped to generate a collection of all the data fields used in novel influenza states’ reporting guidelines and states’ case report forms. The identified data fields were ranked based on the most used data fields across all the participated states. The ranked data fields across all the participated states helps healthcare providers and policymakers to get insight into other data fields required by other states to develop future guidelines and case report forms.
The result of Aim 2 was a tool that maps the required data from a database simulating EHRs with a different granularity of data to one or more state’s official case report forms. The tool does this through query mapping and pre-population of as much data into a given state’s case report form as the granularity of a given EHR data permit. This feature helps in reducing the manual data entry and increase the accuracy and completeness of submitted data to authorities. The tool converts the submitted case report form into Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) format, which is a recommended standard by HL7.
For Aim 3, a combination of usability evaluation methods is implemented to evaluate the Web-based reporting tool from Aim 2. The main objectives of the implemented usability evaluation methods are to measure the usability of the tool. The usability refers to the quality of a user’s experience when interacting with the tool and to measure the user's overall satisfaction. The Key finding from Aim 3 was that the Web-based reporting tool is an acceptable tool by potential users. The evaluation study generated qualitative and quantitative results. Also, the results generated a list of usability problems for future development and considerations.

Last Known Position:

Assistant Professor under the College of Public Health and Health Informatics at King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS) 


Peter Tarczy-Hornoch, Lingtak-Neander Chan, Anne Turner, Ian Painter