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Communication that facilitates collaboration with hospital and public health users and other stakeholders is of utmost importance to the BioSense program. With this in mind, BioSense employs several communication channels and tools. These channels and others are designed to keep BioSense users and others informed about the progress of the program, and provide opportunities for users to interact with each other and with program staff.

Roundtable Materials

Print Communications

To inform potential BioSense data sources and other interested stakeholders of BioSense and the progress of the program, the following communication channels are available:

  • An information sheet with a BioSense overview and background.
    (BioSense Fact Sheet)PDF Icon
  • An information sheet with General Frequently Asked Questions
    (FAQ) PDF Icon
  • A Legal FAQ sheet dedicated to communicating important legal information for those interested in data sharing and privacy issues..
  • (BioSense Legal FAQ DocumentPDF Icon
  • Interviews and highlights in various news stories throughout the nation
  • (In the News)
  • Articles and writings in scholarly and professional journals related to BioSense and biosurveillance.
  • (Publications)
  • Presentations and abstracts from major conferences and meetings.

User Communications and Collaboration

In May and June 2006, CDC held its first BioSense Users Meeting and Science Meeting in Atlanta, GA.  Feedback from meeting attendees, as well as other BioSense users made it clear that there is a need for consistent communication between CDC and BioSense users in addition to forums to provide feedback and collaboration. Since these meetings CDC has instituted several mechanisms to address these needs including BioSense Bulletin, Real Time, Real Talk, Topical Workgroups.

BioSense Bulletin

The BioSense Bulletin is an email newsletter that provides the latest news and updates concerning the BioSense application, new data sources, evaluation, training, and other useful topics related to the program. It is distributed via a listserv to BioSense users and other interested parties on a regular basis.

If you would like to be added to the listserv to receive the BioSense Bulletin, please send an email to:  In 2007, the Bulletin  moved to a bimonthly schedule.

Real Time, Real Talk

In order to keep the channels of communication open, BioSense’s program leadership began hosting quarterly discussions called Real-Time, Real-Talk. This discussion forum provides BioSense users an opportunity to receive information, express thoughts and ideas to other users and program leadership, and ask questions to program leaders.

PDF Icon August 2007 Transcript
PDF Icon January 2007 Transcript
PDF Icon August 2006 Transcript

Topical Workgroups

The purpose of these groups is to address key topics of interest that have been identified by BioSense users and CDC. 

Monitoring and Response Protocols

BioSense users requested that CDC provide guidance regarding how to monitor and respond to data available through BioSense. Understanding that response is local, this forum provides public health and hospital users the opportunity to contribute and guide the development of these protocols.   

Application Functionality

Establishing a forum for public health and hospital users of BioSense will allow CDC to effectively gather user feedback in order to prioritize development of new functionality and enhance BioSense to meet user needs. There will likely be several subtopics in this area. The first topic of discussion was related to user needs for custom querying and syndrome/sub-syndrome definitions using a new tool known as the Custom Event Creator. This tool is envisioned to provide custom query capabilities that will allow you to modify current sub-syndromes and syndromes or create your own.

If you would like to join either of these working groups, or propose a topic for a new working group, please email

There is no formal schedule for the working groups at this time. They meet on an ad hoc basis as necessary. If you would like to join a group, your name will be given to the group facilitator and you will receive an email alerting you to the next group meeting. The groups usually convene by conference call or webinar.

Page Last Modified: Jan 6, 2009
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