IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Improving the Value of Analysis for Biosurveillance


  • Henry H. Willis

    () (RAND Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213)

  • Melinda Moore

    () (RAND Corporation, Arlington, Virginia 22202)


Biosurveillance provides information that improves decisions about mitigating the effects of disease outbreaks and bioterrorism. The success of biosurveillance depends on the effectiveness of at least four key processes: data collection, data analysis and interpretation, data integration from across organizations, and action (including public responses) based upon results of the analysis. Questions typically arise about whether information from biosurveillance systems represents a threat that justifies a response. To begin answering these questions, the Institute of Medicine Standing Committee on Health Threats Resilience has been undertaking discussions of strategies that the Department of Homeland Security National Biosurveillance Integration Center could use to strengthen its decision support and decision analysis functions. As part of these discussions, this paper applies two standard decision analysis tools to biosurveillance-- decision trees and value-of-information analysis---to assess the implications of strategies to enhance biosurveillance and to improve decisions about whether and how to act after detection of a biosurveillance signal. This application demonstrates how decision analysis tools can be used to improve public health preparedness decision making by developing a road map for how best to enhance biosurveillance through better analytic tools and methods.

Suggested Citation

  • Henry H. Willis & Melinda Moore, 2014. "Improving the Value of Analysis for Biosurveillance," Decision Analysis, INFORMS, vol. 11(1), pages 63-81, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ordeca:v:11:y:2014:i:1:p:63-81
    DOI: 10.1287/deca.2013.0283

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. W. Viscusi, 2009. "Valuing risks of death from terrorism and natural disasters," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 191-213, June.
    2. Nelson, C. & Lurie, N. & Wasserman, J. & Zakowski, S., 2007. "Conceptualizing and defining public health emergency preparedness," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 97(S1), pages 9-11.
    3. Joost R. Santos & Mark J. Orsi & Erik J. Bond, 2009. "Pandemic Recovery Analysis Using the Dynamic Inoperability Input‚ÄźOutput Model," Risk Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 29(12), pages 1743-1758, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Mary F. McGuire, 2014. "Pancreatic Cancer: Insights from Counterterrorism Theories," Decision Analysis, INFORMS, vol. 11(4), pages 265-276, December.
    2. Carlo Drago & Matteo Ruggeri, 2019. "Setting research priorities in the field of emergency management: which piece of information are you willing to pay more?," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 53(4), pages 2103-2115, July.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ordeca:v:11:y:2014:i:1:p:63-81. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Matthew Walls). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.