FluWatch Sentinel Practitioner ILI Surveillance Program

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Influenza-like-illness (ILI) surveillance is important

ILI surveillance is a component universal to most influenza surveillance systems across the world, and is a global surveillance standard of the World Health Organization.

An objective of ILI surveillance is to assist local and national health authorities to monitor the impact of influenza such as the start, peak and end of the influenza season and any unusual or unexpected ILI activity.

This is why ILI surveillance is also an essential component of global pandemic influenza preparedness platforms.

About FluWatch ILI surveillance

FluWatch ILI surveillance program started in 1996 and has been around for over 20 years. The sentinel influenza-like-illness surveillance system is FluWatch's primary source for outpatient influenza surveillance data in Canada.

Primary care physicians, nurse practitioners and registered nurses can become FluWatch sentinels

Sentinel physicians and nurses are needed in all areas across the country. The more sentinels send data on ILI in their practice, the better FluWatch can analyse ILI consultation rates in each region and for Canada as a whole.

To become a FluWatch sentinel, please contact us at phac.fluwatch.aspc@canada.ca

Seeking OSCAR EMR users

FluWatch has developed an automatic ILI data extraction tool for the OSCAR EMR system. This tool will automatically extract anonymized ILI data from patients seen and transmit the data to our secure online platform. This tool greatly reduces the weekly time commitment for sentinels.

If you are interested in using this tool, please contact us at phac.fluwatch.aspc@canada.ca

Mainpro-M2 credits are available for participation

Sentinel practitioners provide important information on the presence, demographic and geographic distribution of influenza and influenza-like-illness (ILI) activity across Canada.

Physicians can claim Mainpro-M2 credits for continuing education through the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

All sentinels receive a weekly summary of ILI consultation rates in their province.

Data is submitted using our secure online platform

FluWatch sentinels electronically submit data on a weekly basis. Sentinels receive a personalized link by e-mail to report their data using our secure online platform.

Each week, for one day of practice, sentinels report the total number of patient visits and the number of ILI cases seen by age group (0-5, 5-19, 20-64 and 65+ years).The time commitment is small, approximately 15 minutes per week.

Data is used in the weekly FluWatch report

National trends in ILI visits are included in the weekly FluWatch report as an important measure of how Canadians are affected by seasonal influenza.

National data are shared with the World Health Organization to contribute to understanding the global circulation of influenza.

Aggregate data are shared with provincial/territorial public health departments on a weekly basis to help them assess intensity of influenza circulation in their region.

National and provincial sentinel practitioner programs

FluWatch coordinates ILI surveillance in all provinces and territories except in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

If you are interested in becoming a sentinel practitioner, please contact phac.fluwatch.aspc@canada.ca or the sentinel recruiter listed for your region (see below).

Provincial sentinel practitioner programs
Sentinel practitioner recruiters Contact
Province: Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan Influenza Sentinel Program Linda M Mushanski
Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory
Province: Alberta
The Alberta Recording and Research Network (TARRANT) TARRANT Viral Watch Team
  • Email: tarrant@ucalgary.ca
  • Phones:
    • 403-220-2750
    • 403-210-7806
    • 403-210 9261
  • Fax: 403-210-9883
  • Secure fax: 403-210-9337
Province: British Columbia
BC Sentinel Physician Influenza Surveillance Program BC Centre for Disease Control
All other Provinces and Territories
FluWatch surveillance program FluWatch surveillance program
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