The athenaInsight 2016-17 Flu Dashboard

By athenaResearch | March 21, 2017

Data Insight

athenaInsight is tracking the spread of the flu across the United States this season, using athenahealth’s network to measure influenza-like symptoms across 1 million patient visits per week to more than 25,000 pediatricians, primary care providers, and emergency medical providers. Use the interactive graphic above to hone in on a state or a single week, and check back weekly for updated data.

For more on our methodology, see the notes.

The chart above provides a more comprehensive view of how the rates of primary care visits for influenza-like illness nationwide have compared over the past three flu seasons.

The graphic below, updated weekly, shows the percentage of U.S. patient visits that include a flu vaccination, using a sample of over 1 million visits each week to pediatricians, primary care providers, and emergency medical providers. Though the CDC has recommended that Americans get flu shots early this year, the volume of vaccinations to date tracks closely with the rate from 2015.

The graph below shows the week-to-week rates of visits to pediatricians’ offices that included a diagnosis of an influenza-like-illness.

Notes on methodology:

This flu-tracking initiative once again takes advantage of athenahealth’s nationwide network of providers to measure the incidence of influenza across more than 1 million patient visits per week to more than 25,000 pediatricians, adult primary care providers, and emergency medicine providers. Using diagnosis codes from insurance claims data at the state and national level, the dashboard quantifies how many patients with influenza-like illness (ILI) are seen by each provider and estimates the proportion of symptomatic patients seen by providers around the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines influenza-like illness as either a specific diagnosis of influenza or a fever co-presenting with a cough or sore throat.

Data analysis by senior athenaResearch associate Stewart Richardson. Designed and developed by Ted Andrick. Animation and illustration by Matt Riddle. Art direction by Leah VanWhy and senior art director Liz Kellogg.

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Good info to know. Also, this makes me ponder whether a flu booster is needed each season?

Name: 
Tamie Bennett
Email: 
test@test.com

Does Athena also track influenza vaccine compliance rates using ACIP (American College of Immunization Practices) guidelines e.g. age >65, pediatrics, certain chronic medical conditions? This would be very valuable information to share with clinicians. Also, does Athena provide clinicians an alert reminding them in those who meet influenza vaccine criteria (per ACIP guidelines) to provide vaccines annually? If not, why not? I can tell you that in my practice, no automatic reminder is provided about vaccines but this would seem to be more useful than alerting clinicians about influenza-like illnesses (which could reflect illness due to about 100 different types of viruses).

Name: 
Leonard Johnson, MD
Email: 
test@test.com

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The athenaInsight 2016-17 Flu Dashboard