WP 136 Visual Case Analysis: Development and Implementation of a Functional Computer-Based Visual Case Analysis Tool

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
International Ballroom
Duane Wilmot, BS1, Margo Yee, BA2, Daniel Burke, MPH3, Carmelita Garcia, AA3, Andrew Gans, MPH3, Lewis Smith, MA4, Mianling Qiao, MSW3, Michael Baldonado, AA3, Savannah Pierson, MPH3, Cheryl Champlin, None3, Merced Jasso, MSW3, Agnes Bartok, MPH3, Paul Opperman, None5 and Mary White, AA6, 1DSTDP, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA, 2STD Program, NM Department of Health, 3NM Department of Health, 4CDC, 5NM Department of Health - contractor, 6FL Department of Health

Background: Used correctly, Visual Case Analysis (VCA) is a valuable disease intervention case management tool.  VCA utilizes a unique plotting sheet along with a specific set of symbols to graphically illustrate related cases of early syphilis.  A completed VCA chart is analyzed and case-specific questions developed to guide case management activities. For over a decade, case managers have recognized that a computer-based VCA program could increase consistency and precision of case plotting resulting in more accurate analysis and  improved syphilis partner services.

Methods: After participating in a 2012 CDC training for VCA, New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) STD Program staff began investigating options for developing a computer-based program to accurately construct a VCA sheet. A rudimentary program was initially designed and shared with CDC’s STD Training Unit. With STD Training Unit staff serving as the VCA subject matter experts, the NMDOH engaged technical experts to write complex Excel formulas, incorporate Visual Basic and link the VCA plotting tool to existing databases.

Results: Two versions of a VCA plotting tool (VCAMON) have been developed. One is a stand-alone program that utilizes data entered directly or imported from a specific data set. The other version is integrated into the STD surveillance data system PRISM. Each version plots:

  • Primary and secondary syphilis symptoms
  • Treatment
  • Partners
  • Dynamically adjusting critical period
  • Exposure dates
  • Inoculation point
  • Other medical information
  • Multiple syphilis generations
  • “Ghosted” symptoms for source and spread termination.
  • List of “Forget Me Not” Questions to consider during intervention   activities.

    Conclusions: Utilization of VCAMON can improve the overall consistency and accuracy of VCA plotting enabling individual disease intervention specialists (DIS) to focus on the most relevant analysis and case management activities, ultimately making activities such as re-interviewing and clustering more productive.