The purpose of the proposed work is to enhance local surveillance of firearm injury by increasing the timeliness of aggregate reporting on these outcomes and disseminating findings to key stakeholders working in firearm safety-related fields. During this three-year funding opportunity (by August 31, 2023), The Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Public Health Division (PHD), Injury and Violence Prevention Program (IVPP), in partnership with the Preparedness Surveillance and Epidemiology Team (PSET) in OHA/PHD and the Oregon Health and Science University – Portland State University School of Public Health (OHSU-PSU SPH), proposes to achieve the following outcomes: (1) improved surveillance methods for nonfatal firearm injury along with improved data quality, (2) an increase in dissemination of timely, geographically-specific information on nonfatal firearm injuries to local and state prevention stakeholders; an increase in the use of syndromic surveillance data by local and state prevention stakeholders to develop plans focusing prevention strategies on populations at greatest risk, and (3) an increase in access to best practices and success stories by firearm injury prevention partners. These outcomes will be achieved by increasing the timeliness of aggregate reporting of firearm-related outcomes and disseminating surveillance findings to key stakeholders working to prevent or respond to firearm injuries. The key to successfully meeting these objectives will be the well-established Oregon ESSENCE (OR ESSENCE) ED data, our team’s access to complementary datasets and experience with data linkage to conduct data validation, and the network of firearm injury prevention stakeholders across Oregon that, supplied with real-time data, can directly address the public health burden of firearm injury in their communities or populations of focus.
Oregon has a high capacity to achieve the project goals, with 100% of state ED visits reported to OR ESSENCE and 82% of statewide ED visits sent daily to the National Syndromic Surveillance Program. Both IVPP and PSET staff have expertise in syndromic surveillance, data quality monitoring and validation, data analytics, report generation, partnership building, and web-based data dashboard development to rapidly disseminate data. Along with our collaborators at the OHSU-PSU SPH, Oregon IVPP is poised to successfully implement ED surveillance for nonfatal firearm injuries, translate and disseminate the resulting data to community stakeholders, share methods, resulting data, and best practices with national partners, and – ultimately – reduce the toll of nonfatal firearm injuries across our state.