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H1N1 Media Analysis

ORISE provides CDC with media analysis and reporting related to H1N1 outbreak

How ORISE is Making a Difference

The increase in confirmed cases of H1N1 prompted national worry and response from the federal government, which required around-the-clock news monitoring, and the development of tailored response materials to assist in combating the virus and educating the public.

As reports of confirmed H1N1 flu cases continued to increase, the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) collaborated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Healthcare Quality and Promotion (DHQP) to prepare communities for an impending public health emergency.

H1N1 map

This map represents the geographic origin or location of daily news articles related to H1N1 flu. The map is generated out of ORISE's Auto-INFORM database, which is an automated data-mining program developed for the CDC that is used to monitor news articles, blogs and Web content. The system codes the information at 100 times the speed of humans and provides summaries and analyses of the content being collected. (Click image for full-sized version)

ORISE's assistance in the fight against H1N1 was not limited to the local stage, as its media monitoring services and use of AutoINFORM (Auto Immunization News FOR Managers) helped keep the CDC up-to-speed on the latest news and media trends.

On average, daily news monitored by AutoINFORM for the CDC picked up around 100 articles, but the number of articles greatly increased with monitoring of H1N1.

On April 24, 2009, AutoINFORM generated less than 500 hits on H1N1, but by April 26, the number had skyrocketed to 6,000. Data collected were then compiled into daily reports in which the CDC received up-to-the-minute information regarding the H1N1 media coverage to help the agency facilitate timely responses to public concerns.

In addition to the media reports sent to the CDC, ORISE worked with DHQP to tailor previously prepared pandemic flu response materials to address H1N1. One of those materials, a 911 call center workbook, was shortened from around 200 pages to six pages after a CDC request for a condensed version that could be quickly read by call center staffers.

The workbook addresses potential problems in the event of an emergency, such as call center staff members being sick themselves, or the call center being overwhelmed with calls because of short-staffing.

AutoINFORM: Analyzing emerging health issues

Since 2001, the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) to help monitor messages through media analysis, which allows the CDC to more quickly respond to the most pressing health issues.

ORISE’s AutoINFORM—a media analysis program—is used to monitor news articles, blogs, social media and Web content related to health concerns and codes the information at 100 times the speed of humans.

On average, ORISE tracks, codes and analyzes more than 17,000 articles daily, monitoring 1,400+ news resources and 1,000+ blogs.

From the results, ORISE uncovers media interest and public perceptions of an issue, evaluates the effectiveness of media efforts and then benchmarks for success.

In addition to NCIRD, ORISE has also partnered with the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health to track, code and analyze 75 to 100 articles daily from selected national and local newspapers, television networks and news wires.

Trade journals are also included for coding and analysis, as well as the ability to evaluate the reliability of the coding scheme.