Timeliness is not a fundamental characteristic of a case detection algorithm. Timeliness is the time between the initial infection of a patient until the case is classified correctly. A case detection algorithm's time of detection depends on when the algorithm is applied to patient data, which depends on when the case detection algorithm is used in a field application, which we discuss in Chapter 37. An evaluator may measure timeliness of detection in reference to time points other than the time of initial infection, such as the date the diagnosis was established by a clinician or a definitive laboratory test.
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