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CIDR Frequently Asked Questions

What is Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting?

Why do we need CIDR?

What does CIDR do and how does it work?

Who uses CIDR?

Can CIDR record Outbreaks?

Can CIDR be used as a contact tracing system?

What is the minimum CIDR dataset?

Can information be entered into CIDR without using full patient names?

How does CIDR record multiple episodes of illness in an individual?

How does CIDR record standard data across all diseases as well as disease-specific epidemiological data? 

How often will the laboratory information be reported from labs?

Are all data from existing systems being migrated into CIDR?

How does CIDR know which data to use for reports?

What date is CIDR reporting based on?

What reports are available in CIDR?

Is there a Helpdesk for CIDR?

 

What is Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting?
Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting (CIDR) is a new information system developed to manage the surveillance and control of infectious diseases in Ireland. It also monitors organisms' ability to resist antibiotic drugs (antimicrobial resistance). CIDR is a shared national information system for the CIDR partners - the HSE (formerly the Health Boards), the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (formerly the National Disease Surveillance Centre), the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, the Food Safety Promotion Board and the Department of Health. 

Why do we need CIDR?

The emergence of SARS and other new or re-occurring infectious diseases worldwide has highlighted the importance of early detection and monitoring of infectious diseases. Up to now there has been no national information system for infectious diseases. This has limited our ability to detect cases early and to prevent further illness occurring.

CIDR will:

  • Provide timely and comprehensive information to facilitate public health action in individual cases of infectious disease
  • Provide standard reports on the incidence and burden of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance nationally, regionally, and locally
  • Allow users to build reports defined by their needs
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of prevention and control programmes nationally, regionally and locally

What does CIDR do and how does it work?

CIDR is a web-based system. All information in CIDR is held in a single shared national information repository.
 

Information from laboratories is entered electronically or manually into CIDR. This information is then linked to clinical and epidemiological information, provided by public health professionals. 
 

On-line access to the information in CIDR is controlled so that personally identifiable information is visible only to those with a need to manage the individual case. 

 

All CIDR information is protected by appropriate security and confidentiality mechanisms.
 

CIDR has a powerful reporting tool, which allows easy web access to standard reports.
 

Who uses CIDR?

Microbiologists and laboratory scientists in laboratories, public health doctors, surveillance scientists and environmental health officers use CIDR for the management of surveillance and control of infectious diseases. CIDR has been implemented in all HSE areas and is now being used across the country in both Departments of Public Health and in clinical laboratories for the collection and reporting of notifiable infectious disease. General practitioners and hospital clinicians do not have direct access to the system at present. Reports based on information in CIDR are available to these groups however, via the HPSC website. 

 

Can CIDR record Outbreaks?

Yes, CIDR can record outbreaks of notifiable diseases as well as any unusual clusters or changing patterns of any illness. Outbreaks can be created by linking together individual cases (events), for example in an outbreak of Measles; while a large outbreak of Norovirus may be created in CIDR to record summary data only, without each of the individual cases (events) being created for each case involved in the outbreak.
 

All unusual clusters, or changing patterns of illness (which includes outbreaks) of notifiable diseases are now notifiable, and will be documented by the system, including hospital outbreaks. The outbreak module in CIDR is used to manage surveillance of outbreaks.
 

Can CIDR be used as a contact tracing system?

No, it is not designed for use as a contact tracing system.
 

What is the minimum CIDR dataset?

CIDR is an operational tool. It records information early in an investigation, when only minimal data is usually available. The system initially accepts a small amount of information, which can then be added to over time. Too many mandatory fields would inhibit the ability to record and share information early on in an investigation. The system will of course accept all non-mandatory fields such as specimen collection date.  
 

If mandatory information is missing when you try to enter data on a CIDR screen, the action will fail. You will get a message indicating which mandatory information is missing, and the fields are highlighted with a red asterix. 
 

Mandatory data items are not permanently highlighted as users may be inadvertently encouraged to only fill in these fields. 

  

Page

Mandatory Fields

Patient

Surname, Disease, Health Board, County

Clinical Notification

Date of notification, Health Board, County

Laboratory Report

Lab Name, Lab specimen ID, Reported date, Organism, Patient surname, Patient Health Board, Patient County, Lab notifier

Event

Disease and Interpreted overall lab result, Health Board, County

Outbreak

Disease, Health board, County, Outbreak type

  

Can information be entered into CIDR without using full patient names?

Yes. CIDR allows several means of entering patient information into the system, known as CIDR patient modes. However, all data currently recorded in CIDR use the Named Patient Mode. The patient modes are as follows: 

  • Named patient mode is the usual method of entering information into CIDR, and records the name and address of the patient. Patient search is performed using name and address combinations.
  •  STI patient mode records initials, rather than named patient information, along with address information. This information cannot be matched to named patient information in the system, only with initialed information.
  • Anonymous patient mode uses soundex codes, rather than names. Searches are based on soundex code. This information cannot be matched to either named patient information or to information based on patient initials in CIDR. CIDR does not generate a soundex code but does allow soundex codes to be recorded in this patient mode.

A link cannot be made between the patient modes i.e. John Murphy can never be linked to JM or to M039. Events of a disease in one patient mode cannot be reclassified to a disease with a different patient mode. 
 

How does CIDR record multiple episodes of illness in an individual?
In CIDR, each patient has a single patient record that is then linked to information about each episode of illness due to a notifiable disease (an event). A person may have more than one event in CIDR. For example, a patient may have an event of TB, and a separate event of Salmonellosis. In this way CIDR can monitor the pattern of infectious diseases in individuals.
 

The CIDR Event contains all the relevant clinical and laboratory information relating to that illness in the person. For example, an event of Meningococcal disease in CIDR contains the epidemiological information, the laboratory results for an individual and the demographic information on the person affected.
 

How does CIDR record standard data across all diseases as well as disease-specific epidemiological data?

When you pick a disease for notification, CIDR then presents you with the page appropriate to the disease. The same fields are displayed in the Core and Clinical Information sections for all diseases. For diseases with enhanced surveillance in place, such as for Meningococcal disease, you will also see the enhanced questions in the Epidemiological Information section. Some questions previously included on enhanced surveillance forms will appear in the Clinical Information section rather than in the Epidemiological Information section.
 

How often will the laboratory information be reported from labs?

Laboratory information will be reported to Public Health on a daily basis, via either a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) extract upload or manual entry. An urgent result can be entered manually, authorised, and made visible straight away to public health, even if a lab normally using electronic upload to CIDR. 


Are all data from existing systems being migrated into CIDR?
All data from existing systems will not be migrated to CIDR. National weekly notification data (WANDA) from 1988 have been migrated. National bacterial meningitis data from 1999 onwards have been migrated, as well as enhanced data for Leptospirosis, Legionellosis and Malaria from 2000 onwards. The feasibility of migrating other historic data is being considered.

How does CIDR know which data to use for reports?
 
In a CIDR event, there may be many clinical and laboratory records linked to the event. The information in each of these fields is aggregated or added together to give a complete summary or aggregate view of the information in the event.

For example the following fields are aggregated: clinical description, onset date, country of infection, date of admission, outcome. For each of these fields, the latest information present in any of the records linked to this event is extracted and presented in the aggregate or summary at the event. This ensures that the most up to date and complete information is used for reporting. Specific rules are used for the aggregation of each field.

What date is CIDR reporting based on?

All CIDR reports on events are based on Event date. This is the date on which public health creates a new event, from laboratory information and/or clinical epidemiological information. It is automatically generated by the system at the time of event creation.


All CIDR reports on Outbreaks are based on Outbreak Created Date i.e. the date that the outbreak was created in CIDR.

 

What reports are available in CIDR?

A large number of reports are available in CIDR. These standard reports are based on aggregate data and can be run on an annual, quarterly, monthly and weekly basis. There are also reference documents available to users. It is also possible to extract information for off-line analysis based on a single query in Business Objects, the reporting tool used in CIDR.


Is there a Helpdesk for CIDR?
Yes. The CIDR helpdesk is based at HPSC and is available to all CIDR users. Helpdesk staff will answer all your questions, whether they are technical or relate to the business process (how different areas of the system work and why they work in a particular way).  
 

All calls are logged and tracked in the Helpdesk database. Users will be given a query number each time they contact the helpdesk so that their query can be resolved efficiently and quickly. The helpdesk processes are reviewed continuously to ensure that an efficient service is provided to all CIDR users.
 

Training materials will be updated, based on queries received by the CIDR helpdesk. User queries will also help to update the FAQ section in the CIDR website and to highlight any areas that may need to be covered in greater detail in the CIDR newsletter. 
 

 



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