The surveillance management team will vary in size depending on the size of the country or area and should include a system manager(s) and data collector(s). The team should be able to consult with a biostatistician/statistician as required.
The role of system manager:
- Overall management of the surveillance team
- Establishment of links with the general hospitals and ministries involved
- Daily management of the surveillance system, including providing training and supervision to the staff members involved in data collection in hospitals
- Management and analysis of data
The role of data collector:
- To identify in a systematic way suicide attempts and self-harm from available hospital records (even when information is brief or basic) within a particular catchment area, using predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria
- To transfer these data securely to the system manager of the surveillance system at agreed intervals (e.g. once a month)
- To check, when appropriate, any coding queries and to perform quality control activities as and when required
If resources for an external data collector are not available, appropriately trained hospital staff, who have experience with health information systems may collect data in the initial stages of implementation. However, evaluations have shown that it is difficult to combine clinical duties with other tasks such as systematic data collection (2).
Tip! To ensure a high standardization of data collection, all data collectors, should receive training in collecting data from medical records.