Many healthcare surveillance systems are applied in Canada. The two surveillance systems discussed in this paper are the CAFPSS and the CCDSS. The CAFPSS surveillance system is applied in the surveillance of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP). The system is applied between the pediatric society and the Public Health Agency of Canada. The Canadian AFP surveillance system is to monitor the polio-free status within the country. Contrary, the CCDSS surveillance system links data from all the territories and provinces across Canada to assess the prevalence and incidences of chronic infections. In addition, CCDSS investigates the causes of mortality among the citizens suffering from these conditions
There are many healthcare surveillance systems in Canada. One of the most commonly applied surveillance systems is the Canadian Acute Flaccid Paralysis Surveillance System (CAFPSS). CAFPSS was started in 1991, and later, in 1996, it was expanded by the Canadian Immunization Program Monitoring Active (IMPACT), to include more than 2500 pediatricians across the nation (“CAFPSS”, 2020). This surveillance system is applied in the surveillance of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) between the pediatric society and the Public Health Agency of Canada. The Canadian AFP surveillance system is to monitor the polio-free status within the country. Thus, the CAFPSS’s primary aim is to ensure the AFP surveillance systems are active and conducts the appropriate investigations to eliminate cases of poliovirus infections (Greenberg et al., 2009). In order to eradicate poliovirus cases, CAFPSS thoroughly investigates nationwide reported cases on the wild poliovirus and collects stool samples for testing (de Quadros, 1997). The entire cases are reviewed to investigate whether they are compatible with the paralytic poliomyelitis definitions by the national surveillance. The collection of data on AFP cases is done by administering questionnaires to the nurses and physicians who participate in the vital adjudication process (“CAFPSS”, 2020).
Another surveillance system applied in Canada is the Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System (“CCDSS”, 2020). This system links data from all the territories and provinces across Canada to assess the prevalence and incidences of chronic infections. In addition, CCDSS investigates the causes of mortality among the citizens suffering from these conditions (Allison, Lix Lisa, & Kim, 2017). After data collection, the first step performed by the CCDSS is the disaggregation of data by age groups, sex, age, and the territories where the data has been collected (Lix et al., 2018). The surveillance system also aims at collecting the surveillance data in a comparable and consistent matter across jurisdictions. Besides, it also protects the privacy of the patients since the only information shared by the territories is aggregated data (Lix & Reimer, 2017). The system also complements other techniques applied in the country to assess the chronic conditions data such as the registries and surveys. CCDSS provides accurate and timely reporting to support the evaluation and planning of programs and policies (Dai et al., 2010).
The CCDSS applies electronic health records (EHRs) to collect and analyze data collected related to chronic conditions. As a result, CCDSS can evaluate and plan both the short-term and long-term results of programs and policy interventions. On the other hand, CAFPSS applies the EHRs records to collect and analyze data related to AFP to monitor the polio-free status within the country. Both the CCDSS and the CAFPSS apply the EHRs to enable the regulators, clinicians, and public health agencies to accurately and timely measure the prevalence and incidence of key health indicators in all the territories across the nation (Botsis et al., 2010). The EHRs records can be applied to assess programs, trigger interventions, and assess the healthcare disparities.
The potential challenge of using the EHRs systems effectively as they are used in Canada is that the systems applied do not meet the standards set aside by the World Health Organization. For instance, a study conducted by Desai et al. showed that health surveillance systems fail to meet the WHO-recommended AFP surveillance performance indicators consistently. The possible recommendation to this challenge is that the country should find possible means to strengthen the current systems in use and introduce alternative systems that can be suitably employed in the surveillance procedures.
Allison, F., Lix Lisa, M., & Kim, R. (2017). Estimating multimorbidity prevalence with the
Canadian chronic disease surveillance system. Health promotion and chronic disease prevention in Canada: research, policy, and practice, 37(7), 215.
Botsis, T., Hartvigsen, G., Chen, F., & Weng, C. (2010). Secondary use of EHR: data quality
issues and informatics opportunities. Summit on Translational Bioinformatics, 2010, 1.
CAFPSS. Canada.ca. (2020). Retrieved 5 July 2020, from
CCDSS. Health-infobase.canada.ca. (2020). Retrieved 5 July 2020, from
Dai, S., Robitaille, C., Bancej, C., & Loukine, L. (2010). Executive summary-report from the
Canadian chronic disease surveillance system: hypertension in Canada, 2010. Chronic Diseases and Injuries in Canada, 31(1).
de Quadros, C. A., Hersh, B. S., Olive, J. M., Andrus, J. K., da Silveira, C. M., & Carrasco, P. A.
(1997). Eradication of wild poliovirus from the Americas: acute flaccid paralysis surveillance, 1988–1995. The Journal of infectious diseases, 175(Supplement_1), S37-S42.
Desai, S., Smith, T., Thorley, B. R., Grenier, D., Dickson, N., Altpeter, E., … & Zurynski, Y.
(2015). Performance of acute flaccid paralysis surveillance compared with World Health Organization standards. Journal of pediatrics and child health, 51(2), 209-214.
Greenberg, D. P., Doemland, M., Bettinger, J. A., Scheifele, D. W., Halperin, S. A., Waters, V.,
… & IMPACT Investigators. (2009). Epidemiology of pertussis and Haemophilus influenza type b disease in Canada with exclusive use of a diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis-inactivated poliovirus-Haemophilus influenza type b pediatric combination vaccine and an adolescent-adult tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis vaccine: implications for disease prevention in the United States. The Pediatric infectious disease journal, 28(6), 521-528.
Lix, L., & Reimer, K. (2017). The Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System: A Distributed
Surveillance Model. Online Journal of Public Health Informatics, 9(1).
Lix, L., Ayles, J., Bartholomew, S., Cooke, C., Ellison, J., Emond, V., … & Paterson, J. M.
(2018). The Canadian chronic disease surveillance system: a model for collaborative surveillance. International Journal of Population Data Science, 3(3).