The national information system (SIN) for influenza

Services | 20 May 2010
A project that clearly illustrates ASIP Santé’s ability to bring together different bodies and successfully implement a national healthcare ITC project. Playing a project management role, ASIP Santé established a national service to assist the French emergency medical service call centres (Samu Centres 15) in just a few weeks. This has allowed the Centres 15 to better handle calls, and provide superior operational information.
To prepare for a possible pandemic of the A (H1N1) influenza virus, the French ministry of health and sports approached ASIP Santé to establish a SIN SAMU Grippe A (H1N1) – a national information system for A (H1N1) influenza. This system was to be developed in close collaboration with the French emergency medical services (Samu) and the French institute for public health surveillance (InVS). The service offered is a secure application that allows Samu staff to collect information from all influenza-related calls in a coordinated manner, via a standardized form used by each call centre. The system means instructing doctors have the information and advice necessary to treat the patient, while recording and recognizing the characteristics of the epidemic.

Coordinating the handling of influenza calls

The information system meets three objectives: 
  • It ensures calls linked to A (H1N1) influenza are handled properly, whether by instructing doctors in the call centre or by additional staff hired during the most serious periods of the epidemic
  • It helps coordinate and guide the response to influenza-related calls at national level
  • It provides a clear picture of the calls made to Samu and the resulting treatment, with the data consolidated so as to chart the development of the pandemic.

Establishing common indicators across all emergency call centres

The SIN SAMU Grippe A (H1N1) was specifically specially designed to ensure that the Samu Centres 15 could manage a potential influenza pandemic. Nevertheless, the system’s principles and procedures will likely be studied within other healthcare contexts requiring a nationally coordinated response via shared IT systems. The system allows data to be collected via standardized indicators across France, from all Samu services. This has never before been possible, and will be employed in a number of other applications in the future.