Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New strep throat risk score brings data together to improve care

Date:
November 4, 2013
Source:
Boston Children's Hospital
Summary:
A new risk measure called a "home score" could save a patient with symptoms of strep throat a trip to the doctor, according to a new paper. The score combines patients' symptoms and demographic information with data on local strep throat activity to estimate their strep risk, empowering them to seek care appropriately.

A new risk measure called a "home score" could save a patient with symptoms of strep throat a trip to the doctor, according to a new paper in the Annals of Internal Medicine, conducted by Andrew Fine, MD, MPH, and Kenneth Mandl, MD, MPH, of Boston Children's Hospital. The score combines patients' symptoms and demographic information with data on local strep throat activity to estimate their strep risk, empowering them to seek care appropriately.

The home score represents the first health care tool to bring patient-contributed data and public health "big data" together to assess an individual's risk for a communicable disease.

The score is calculated using a patient's symptoms (i.e., presence or absence of fever and/or cough) and age. It also incorporates a statistic developed by Mandl and Fine, of Boston Children's 's Division of Emergency Medicine and Informatics Program, which captures the recent strep incidence in the patient's geographic area. If a patient's home score is low, then his or her risk of having an active strep infection is also low and a doctor's visit may not be warranted.

If packaged as an app or online tool and fed data from available surveillance sources, the home score could allow someone with a sore throat to learn whether they should consider getting a strep test without leaving home.

"Using the home score could empower patients to make informed decisions about their medical care by contributing information about their symptoms," said Fine. "Integrating local epidemiologic context with the symptom information permits calculation of a personal, local risk of strep throat."

The home score was developed using aggregated patient visit data provided by MinuteClinic, CVS Caremark's retail health clinic business. Based on their models, Mandl and Fine suggest that broad use of the score could eliminate 230,000 unnecessary doctor visits for strep throat in the U.S. annually.

"The basic math here is that if group A strep is present in patients around you then you are more likely to have strep," explained Mandl. "The local epidemiology is so informative that when combined with just a few additional facts from an individual we can arrive at a reasonable initial diagnosis, without a health care visit.

"Because sore throat is so common, reducing these visits could alleviate strain on the health system, while saving significant opportunity costs for patients," added Fine.

The home score builds on ongoing efforts by Mandl and Fine to develop approaches for augmenting communicable disease risk assessment tools with surveillance data. By incorporating patient-reported data directly, it also highlights one way of using big data to help clinicians engage patients more closely in decisions about their health care.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston Children's Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrew M. Fine. Participatory Medicine: A Home Score for Streptococcal Pharyngitis Enabled by Real-Time Biosurveillance. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2013; 159 (9): 577 DOI: 10.7326/0003-4819-159-9-201311050-00003

Cite This Page:

Boston Children's Hospital. "New strep throat risk score brings data together to improve care." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131104171302.htm>.
Boston Children's Hospital. (2013, November 4). New strep throat risk score brings data together to improve care. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131104171302.htm
Boston Children's Hospital. "New strep throat risk score brings data together to improve care." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131104171302.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins