Surveillance systems evaluation: a systematic review of the existing approaches.

BMC Public Health

PubMedID: 25928645

Calba C, Goutard FL, Hoinville L, Hendrikx P, Lindberg A, Saegerman C, Peyre M. Surveillance systems evaluation: a systematic review of the existing approaches. BMC Public Health. 2015;15(1):448.
BACKGROUND
Regular and relevant evaluations of surveillance systems are essential to improve their performance and cost-effectiveness. With this in mind several organizations have developed evaluation approaches to facilitate the design and implementation of these evaluations.

METHODS
In order to identify and to compare the advantages and limitations of these approaches, we implemented a systematic review using the PRISMA guidelines (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses).

RESULTS
After applying exclusion criteria and identifying other additional documents via citations, 15 documents were retained. These were analysed to assess the field (public or animal health) and the type of surveillance systems targeted; the development process; the objectives; the evaluation process and its outputs; and the attributes covered. Most of the approaches identified were general and provided broad recommendations for evaluation. Several common steps in the evaluation process were identified: (i) defining the surveillance system under evaluation, (ii) designing the evaluation process, (iii) implementing the evaluation, and (iv) drawing conclusions and recommendations.

CONCLUSIONS
A lack of information regarding the identification and selection of methods and tools to assess the evaluation attributes was highlighted; as well as a lack of consideration of economic attributes and sociological aspects.