ATLANTA, GA - If there is one lesson that has been learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s how important it is for public health agencies to have access to timely and complete patient data for disease tracking, case management and contact tracing.
Electronic case reporting (eCR) provides this data during routine periods as well as public health emergencies. The data includes information on patient demographics, comorbidities, immunizations, medications and other treatments.
As of January 1, 2022, eCR is required by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Promoting Interoperability Program for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals and the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Promoting Interoperability Performance Category for eligible clinicians.
Moving from Manual Reporting to Electronic Submissions
eCR eliminates the burden of manual reporting on healthcare providers by securely transferring patient and clinical information to public health agencies. There are currently more than 100 conditions that can be reported using eCR, including opioid overdose, foodborne illnesses and neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.
- The eCR runs in the background of a GaHIN member’s EHR, capturing and reporting required information.
- That information is sent to GaHIN via secure direct messaging.
- GaHIN evaluates the inbound message to confirm it is an eCR report, then sends the eCR to the CDC for validation.
- The CDC evaluates the message to determine if it is a reportable case; if the answer is yes, the data is sent to the Georgia Department of Public Health, which confirms the data flow.
The Benefits of eCR
eCR benefits everyone involved in case reporting, per the CDC. It provides timely and more complete data than manual reporting and decreases the burden on both healthcare facilities and public health staff.
For Healthcare Providers
- Reduces burden for healthcare providers without disrupting the clinical workflow
- Saves time by eliminating manual data entry and reporting
- Can fulfill legal reporting requirements
- Provides real-time reports to public health officials to guide the state, tribal, local and territorial response to public health threats
- Facilitates communication and collaboration between healthcare and public health
- Streamlines reporting to multiple jurisdictions
- Receives information from public health associated with the reportable condition
- Can be implemented for all reportable conditions
For Public Health Agencies
- Provides timely and complete data to support outbreak management and monitor disease trends
- Efficiently monitors the spread of reportable diseases during outbreaks and public health emergencies
- Reduces response time with automated information
- Improves communication and collaboration with healthcare by enabling bidirectional data exchange
- Supports submission of case-based data (without identifiable information) to CDC through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System.
GaHIN members interested in participating and contributing eCRs should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.