When real-time disease surveillance is practiced in neighboring states within a region, public health users may benefit from easily sharing their concerns and findings regarding potential health threats. To better understand the need for this capability, an event communications component (ECC) was added to the National Capital Region Disease Surveillance System, an operational biosurveillance system employed in the District of Columbia and in surrounding Maryland and Virginia counties. Through usage analysis and user survey methods, we assessed the value of the enhanced system in daily operational use and during two simulated exercises. Results suggest that the system has utility for regular users of the system as well as suggesting several refinements for future implementations
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