The San Francisco Department of Public Health’s Applied Research, Community Health, Epidemiology & Surveillance (ARCHES) Branch is responsible for tracking viral hepatitis in San Francisco. By routinely gathering data about new cases of a disease, a health department is able to recognize patterns of transmission and identify areas where outbreaks are occurring in a timely manner. In San Francisco, the sparsity of resources dedicated to the surveillance of viral hepatitis has prevented consistent epidemiological analysis and dissemination of information about viral hepatitis to the public.
Facente Consulting assisted ARCHES with the facilitation of citywide meetings to discuss surveillance of viral hepatitis, helping them to identify data tools that could aid in the analysis and reporting of hepatitis A, B, and C infections. We also used ArcGIS software to create heat maps that show viral hepatitis cases in the city by zip code, and provided further support for policy research and analysis of de-identified surveillance data. Together, these analytic pieces helped catalyze the development of a report of hepatitis C surveillance data, which was released to the public in 2021 – the first comprehensive report on viral hepatitis to be released by the health department in 11 years.