CORPORATE IMAGE OF THE EPIDEMIOLOGIC OBSERVATORY
The main objective of the Public Health Department is to improve the state of health of the population. The Epidemiologic Observatory is more and more involved in the assessment of goals in Public Health and Policy Making and tries to:
- orientate the planning decisions on the basis of priority of public health intervention and avoidable health eventsdevelop the measurement of the outcome from the strategy of the Clinical Authoritysupport the further development of the epidemiological knowledge in the Local Health Authority.
- Epidemiology observes, describes, analyses and interprets health-related phenomena in human population and applies the logical interpretation of observation to health services.
- The epidemiologic observation has a horizontal function to all job outlines and services of the Local Health Authority, as it is a survey instrument for data analysis on health needs and an evaluation system of the medical supplies of the public health services.
In the Province of Bolzano, epidemiologic observation was introduced with the establishment of the Epidemiologic Observatory. Its task is to introduce the epidemiologic observation in the Province (mandatory by local law n. 7 of the 5. March 2001 "Reorganization of the public health services" and previous local law n. 33 of the 18 August 1988) to investigate health needs and evaluate the capability of the Public Health Services to satisfy them.
The local Epidemiologic Observatory is a technical and scientific service of the Department of Health Service. It supplies the Local Authority with epidemiologic information to investigate the health needs of the population and the critical areas of intervention. This information is necessary for planning, orientation, evaluation and verification of the effectiveness of the intervention.
The functions of the Epidemiologic Observatory
A) Coordination (alignment, surveillance, valuation) of the activities inherent in the introduction of specific pathological registers and epidemiological surveys
- Verification of the data quality of the flow of information
- Distribution of the data using statistics, reports, etc. about the health needs of the population and the health risk factors
- Involvement in projecting new flow of information and reorganizing the existing one.
B) Coordination (alignment, surveillance, valuation) of the activities inherent in the introduction of flow of information, necessary to evaluate the equity of access, the adequacy of resources, the efficiency and effectiveness of the health services
- Qualitative and quantitative analysis of the existing flow of information and planning of a new one
- Distribution of the data using statistics, reports, etc.
- Involvement in projecting new flow of information.
C) Promotion of ad hoc epidemiological studies
- Conduction of descriptive, analytical, estimate epidemiological studies
- Support for local projects
- Adherence to national and international studies.
D) Support for local planning activity
- Support by creating the health plan
- Data collection and analysis requested by the decision-maker.
E) Promotion of the epidemiological knowledge among the operators of the health services
- Promotion, organization and coordination of the methodology, procedure and instruments of epidemiologic observation
- Planning of further training regarding epidemiology
The main activity areas of the Epidemiologic Observatory are:
Surveillance systems (measles, bacterial meningitis, infectious diseases)
Pathological registers (diabetes, tumours, hip prosthesis, congenital defects,..)
Incidence and prevalence of the disease
Network of rare diseases
Behaviour and lifestyle
Clinical epidemiology and guidelines
Assessment of the health services.
The Epidemiologic Observatory publishes the main indicators regarding the state of health of the South Tyrolean population and the organization of the health services.
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