Florida has a very broad public records law. Most written communications to or from state officials regarding state business are public records available to the public and media upon request. Your e-mail communications may therefore be subject to public disclosure.
The Merlin system is essential to the control of disease in Florida. It serves as the state's repository of reportable disease case reports, including automated notification of staff about individual cases of high-priority diseases. Data collected in Merlin can be viewed using Florida's Communicable Disease Frequency Reports.
Florida has a very broad public records law. Most written communications to or from state officials regarding state business are public records available to the public and media upon request. Your e-mail communications may therefore be subject to public disclosure. Merlin is available to Department of Health employees and access can be requested by contacting the Merlin Helpdesk.
EpiCom is the Department of Health's disease outbreak communication system. This system is used to communicate essential information regarding public health issues to partners throughout the state. County Health Department workers and other public health partners can access EpiCom. To request access please contact EpiCom.Administrator@flhealth.gov
The EpiGateway system includes several different modules, including County Flu Activity reporting, Pneumonia and Influenza Mortality reports, and RSV activity reporting, that assist county health department staff and Bureau of Epidemiology staff with recognizing and responding to outbreaks and thus mitigating risk of morbidity and mortality. In addition, EpiGateway allows hospitals to electronically report cases of notifiable diseases.
County Health Department workers, hospital infection control practitioners, RSV sentinel providers, and Vital Statistics staff can access EpiGateway. To request an account go to https://www.epigateway.com
The Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (ESSENCE) is a biosurveillance system that collects emergency department chief complaint data from participating hospitals and urgent care centers in Florida, call data from the Florida Poison Information Center Network, reportable disease data from the Merlin database, and mortality data from the Florida Office of Vital Statistics. The objective of this surveillance system is to provide the epidemiologist with the data sources and analytic tools needed to identify outbreaks or unusual trends more rapidly, leading to a more timely public health response.
The system is valued, trusted and relied upon daily by state and county level epidemiologists across FDOH program areas (epidemiology, immunizations, environmental health- chemical, vectorborne, waterborne and foodborne disease programs) to detect outbreaks and unusual cases, monitor morbidity and mortality and provide situational awareness including after events such as hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, pandemic influenza, Gulf oil spill, etc.
ESSENCE-FL from Syndromic Surveillance to Routine Epidemiologic Analysis
Technical assistance and development of the ESSENCE system is provided by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. For more information please view the ESSENCE user guide (FL. v1.0) or to obtain access, contact the Bureau of Epidemiology at (850) 245-4401.
The State Emergency Responders and Volunteers of Florida is the online system for managing public health and medical disaster responders (volunteers and staff teams). This site supports a variety of personnel who may be utilized during disasters, all-hazard response efforts and public health activities. SERVFL also serves as the Health Alert Network which provides users with a wide range of methods to send and receive information on a variety of communication devices. This system is available to registered users.
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