Michigan Syndromic Surveillance System (MSSS)

Syndromic surveillance detects unusual or sudden increases in patients reporting symptoms that could signal public health threats—providing states with an early warning before diagnoses are available.

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Altarum created MSSS for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in 2003 and continues to serve as the state’s development, enhancement, maintenance, and provider-outreach partner. By using MSSS to track symptoms reported at urgent care facilities and emergency departments in real-time, public health officials can quickly develop focused intervention strategies. For example, a rash of heat stroke amongst seniors in southeast Michigan might prompt local health departments to set up cooling stations.

Our Approach

Because MSSS receives about 100,000 HL-7 messages daily, we designed the system to be responsive to large workloads. This ensures data from emergency and urgent care visits across Michigan are processed quickly. Algorithms run continuously to detect increases in patient symptoms and alert public health staff when these occur.

Altarum provides technical assistance to emergency and urgent care facilities and performs extensive testing to confirm that the visit data they submit meets both Michigan and national interoperability requirements. To ensure data is received in real time, MSSS dashboards monitor “tardy” facility feeds and Altarum staff reach out to alert facilities and resolve delays.

Over the past 18 years, we have evolved MSSS into a tailored system with far more analytic power. The system is customizable, allowing users to create filters to search visit data for new public health threats, such as Covid-19, and conduct analysis directly within the system.   


The Michigan Syndromic Surveillance System receives real-time chief complaint data from over 200 Michigan facilities and analyzes data from over 5 million emergency and urgent care visits annually. Altarum also maintains the feeds that share de-identified MSSS data with the CDC’s National Syndromic Surveillance Program, where it is available for additional analysis and monitoring for public health concerns. 

Michigan Syndromic Surveillance System (MSSS) Contact

Contact Us

Jim Kamp

Jim Kamp  - MBA, MA

Director, Strategic Partnerships, Public Health Systems

Areas of Expertise
  • Public Health Interoperability
  • Health IT Project Management
  • Stakeholder Engagement and Outreach

Jim Kamp has more than 30 years of combined experience in IT program management, including for government health care agencies. He leads projects for the Vital Records and Health Statistics Division of the state of Michigan to improve electronic birth reporting and for Washington state to improve ELR processing of Covid-19 data. He builds partnerships needed to advance interoperability at all levels of government and serves in leadership roles in the Michigan and Midwest chapters of HIMSS. Jim holds an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Raj Borde

Raj Borde  - MS

Software Engineering Director, Public Health Interoperability and IT Systems

Areas of Expertise
  • Agile Software Development
  • Technology Leadership
  • Disease Surveillance Systems and Registries

Raj is a pragmatic, results-driven Agile leader with more than 22 years of experience directing all aspects of software application development, deployment, and support. He excels in program and project management in a global enterprise SaaS environment. At Altarum, he provides technical leadership for multiple projects including the website development of a multi-state direct care workforce management tool, a data exchange registry for monitoring multiple drug-resistant organisms in California’s Orange County, disease and syndromic surveillance systems in the state of Michigan, and various interoperability projects nationwide. Raj has a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology and is a certified as a Professional Scrum Master.