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To assist in influenza outbreak management within Residential Aged Care Facilities, the Public Health Unit developed a novel web-based application – the InFluenza outbreak, Communication, Advice and REporting application (FluCARE).

Public Health Unit staff FluCARE App
SydneyConnect Image: FluCARE

The FluCARE application aims to assist residential aged-care facility staff in the early detection, notification, and response to influenza outbreaks by providing a streamlined system for surveillance data collection.

To support influenza outbreak management, FluCARE has three core functions: 

  • A line list for easy and rapid data entry and to notify the Public Health Unit for risk assessment, review, and monitoring.
  • Algorithms to identify suspected and confirmed cases and potential and confirmed outbreaks based on Communicable Diseases Network Australia case definitions and outbreak criteria.
  • Immediate and automatic notifications to residential aged-care facility managers, Public Health Unit staff, and other configurable relevant stakeholders, for example, General Practitioners and aged-care outreach teams.

FluCARE was developed in consultation with our Aged Health, Chronic Care and Rehabilitation Team, aged-care facilities and the Ministry of Health. In September 2019, the program went live to several residential aged-care facilities as a pilot app. In early 2022, FluCARE was further rolled out to additional residential aged-care facilities in the District to enable the reporting of suspected cases of flu during the winter season. More than fifty aged care facilities in the Sydney Local Health District are now registered with FluCARE, and the FluCARE App continues to be used for surveillance and management of isolated influenza outbreaks in aged care facilities in the District.