Information technology can be applied to assist the outbreak investigation process in several ways.
Verification and Preparation: With the development of online communication platforms, preparation for field work can be efficiently managed involving multiple stakeholders within a short timeframe. This approach allows a large number of staff members to understand their tasks and actively participate in the response.
Health facilities and health centers nowadays have utilized electronic health records for patients, enabling the extracting of outbreak related data in real-time. This data can be promptly reported to the respective response team for further investigation. Thus, not only verification of diagnosis but also outbreak data collection will be processed with a number of valuable information when there is an alert of an outbreak in the system.
Outbreak description: Active case detection in the community can be facilitated through electronic data recording system either with tablets or laptops and it makes sure that accurate and timely information are collected. GIS started to use in some areas to locate the cases and prevent the further spread of infection.
Hypothesis generation and testing: Statistical software has been utilized to analyze the data and generate hypotheses about the origin and transmission of the outbreak.
Response and action: Data visualization dashboard has been created to support for real-time decision-making for both stakeholders and public. Those tools gather data from outbreak areas and disseminate information with visualized charts, maps, and patterns. This empowers public health decision makers to allocate resources effectively, raise awareness and implement preventive measures in the community.