Surveillance of noncommunicable disease epidemic through the integrated noncommunicable disease collaborative management system: Feasibility pilot study conducted in the city of Ningbo, China

Sixuan Li, Liang Zhang, Shiwei Liu, Richard Hubbard, Hui Li

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) have become the main public health concern worldwide. With rapid economic development and changes in lifestyles, the burden of NCDs in China is increasing dramatically every year. Monitoring is a critical measure for NCDs control and prevention. However, because of the lack of regional representativeness, unsatisfactory data quality, and inefficient data sharing and utilization, the existing surveillance systems and surveys in China cannot track the status and transition of NCDs epidemic. Objective: To efficaciously track NCDs epidemic in China, this pilot program conducted in Ningbo city by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) aimed to develop an innovative model for NCDs surveillance and management: the integrated noncommunicable disease collaborative management system (NCDCMS). Methods: This Ningbo model was designed and developed through a 3-level (county/district, municipal, and provincial levels) direct reporting system based on the regional health information platform. The uniform data standards and interface specifications were established to connect different platforms and conduct data exchanges. The performance of the system was evaluated based on the 9 attributes of surveillance system evaluation framework recommended by the US CDC. Results: NCDCMS allows automatic NCDs data exchanging and sharing via a 3-level public health data exchange platform in China. It currently covers 201 medical institutions throughout the city. Compared with previous systems, automatic popping up of the report card, automatic patient information extraction, and real-time data exchange process have highly improved the simplicity and timeliness of the system. The data quality meets the requirements to monitor the incidence trend of NCDs accurately, and the comprehensive data types obtained from the database (ie, directly from the 3-level platform on the data warehouse) also provide a useful information to conduct scientific studies. So far, 98.1% (201/205) of medical institutions across Ningbo having been involved in data exchanges with the model. Evaluations of the system performance showed that NCDCMS has high levels of simplicity, data quality, acceptability, representativeness, and timeliness. Conclusions: NCDCMS completely reshaped the process of NCD surveillance reporting and had unique advantages, which include reducing the work burden of different stakeholders by data sharing and exchange, eliminating unnecessary redundancies, reducing the amount of underreporting, and structuring population-based cohorts. The Ningbo model will be gradually promoted elsewhere following this success of the pilot project, and is expected to be a milestone in NCDs surveillance, control, and prevention in China.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere17340
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Electronic health records
  • Noncommunicable diseases
  • Regional health information platform
  • Surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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