“Meaningful Use” Submissions of Syndromic Surveillance Data

The submission of syndromic surveillance data to VDH fulfills one measure of the Meaningful Use Public Health Registry Reporting measure (Modified Stage 2) or of the Meaningful Use Public Health and Clinical Data Registry Reporting measure (Stage 3). The Syndromic Surveillance Reporting measure applies to Eligible Hospitals (EH) and to select Eligible Professionals (EP) in Virginia.

Syndromic surveillance is a strategy used by public health to detect emerging issues and monitor the health of people in the community. The Virginia Department of Health collects and analyzes health data from participating Eligible Hospitals and Eligible Professionals to identify emerging trends of public health concern. The data are categorized into syndromes based on the patient’s symptoms and reason for visit (chief complaint) or diagnosis. Analytic tools are then used to rapidly identify unusual patterns in time or space that might indicate situations of concern. In Virginia, syndromic surveillance is used to monitor the level of influenza-like illness during flu season, illnesses and injuries associated with major storms and natural disasters, health problems associated with mass gatherings, and emerging outbreaks and issues of public health concern in the community.

Exclusions:

  • Stage 1 (2011-2015 only): For Stage 1, VDH is accepting syndromic surveillance submissions from EHs or from EPs practicing at urgent care centers only. All other types of EPs may claim an exclusion during Stage 1.
  • Stage 2 (2015-2017): For Stage 2, VDH is accepting syndromic surveillance submissions from EHs as well as all EPs. Providers in Stage 2 cannot claim an exclusion, regardless of practice specialty.
  • Stage 3 (2018, optional 2017): For Stage 3, VDH is accepting syndromic surveillance submissions from EHs or from EPs practicing in an urgent care setting. All other types of EPs may claim an exclusion during Stage 3.

Onboarding Process for Syndromic Surveillance Message

For Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 1, (applicable 2011-2015 only) providers must complete Steps 1-3. For MU Stage 2 and Stage 3, Providers must demonstrate active engagement with Public Health. Providers registered in the VDH Meaningful Use Registration System will receive acknowledgement of the VDH MU status they have achieved at the end of their reporting period. Statuses include Registered, Invited to Onboard, Testing and Validation, and In Production.

1

Registration: Eligible Hospital (EH) or Eligible Professional (EP) registers intent to submit syndromic surveillance data to VDH for MU.

2

 Message Structure Validation:  EH or EP generates syndromic surveillance messages with test data for structural evaluation by VDH.
  • VDH will provide an invitation indicating the EH or EP should begin the onboarding process. Your MU status will be “Invited to Onboard” and once you begin to submit messages it will change to “Testing and Validation.”
  • Submit sample messages to VDH by e-mail for structural validation.
  • These messages may use data from a test environment.
  • Incorporate feedback from VDH where necessary to refine message structure to meet Meaningful Use and VDH message requirements.

3

 Connectivity:  EH or EP sets up transport option with VDH.
  • Select a transport method.
  • Work with ConnectVirginia to establish and test transport.
  • Some EHR vendors have already established an interface with ConnectVirginia. Please consult with your EHR vendor before beginning this process.

4

 Message Content Validation:  EH or EP submits syndromic surveillance messages to VDH for content validation using selected transport method.
  • Submit test messages to VDH through the selected transport method.
  • These messages must use data from the production environment.
  • Incorporate feedback from VDH where necessary to refine message content to meet Meaningful Use and VDH requirements.

5

 Production:  EH or EP initiates ongoing syndromic surveillance data transmissions and participates in periodic quality assurance activities.
  • Initiate ongoing production data transmission of syndromic surveillance messages upon approval by VDH. Your MU status will be updated from “Testing and Validation” to “In Production.”
  • Incorporate VDH feedback as necessary to ensure quality of data.
  • VDH will provide EH or EP an acknowledgment of ongoing data transmission for reporting period at the completion of this step.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligible Professionals

Is VDH accepting syndromic surveillance data submissions from eligible professionals (EPs)?

Yes, VDH is accepting syndromic surveillance data from all EPs in Stage 2 of Meaningful Use, and from EPs in an urgent care setting only in Stage 3 of Meaningful Use. In Stage 3, EPs not in an urgent care setting may claim an exclusion. No EPs can claim an exclusion for Stage 2, regardless of practice specialty. For more information on which EPs may qualify for an exclusion in Virginia please see the Exclusions details above.

In Stage 1 of Meaningful Use (applicable 2011-2015 only), VDH was only accepting syndromic surveillance data from eligible hospitals (including critical access hospitals) and EPs who practiced at urgent care centers. All other all types of EPs could claim an exclusion for Stage 1 only.

What types or specialties of eligible professionals (EPs) should register or submit data to VDH?

VDH is accepting registrations from all EPs who wish to attest to the syndromic surveillance reporting measure. VDH will invite EPs in Stage 2 to begin onboarding activities for submission of syndromic surveillance data on a case-by-case basis. Those EPs that register but are not invited to onboard by VDH will be placed in an onboarding queue, which meets active engagement requirements for syndromic surveillance in Stage 2.

Beginning in 2018 for Stage 3 of Meaningful Use (optional in 2017), VDH will accept registrations from only EPs that practice in an urgent care setting. All other types of EPs may claim an exclusion for syndromic surveillance in Stage 3 of Meaningful Use.

What events or conditions should be included in syndromic surveillance data submissions to VDH?

VDH monitors the reason for visit for all in person encounters seen by eligible professionals at the practice-level through syndromic surveillance. No filtering of data by health condition should be done prior to its submission to VDH. Phone calls, scheduling, and prescription refills events should not be sent to VDH.

Where can I find guidance on the required data elements that should be submitted to VDH by eligible professionals for syndromic surveillance?

Guidance documentation that outlines what data elements should be sent by eligible professionals practicing at urgent care center can be found in the following specification guides:

What message types does VDH accept for syndromic surveillance?

VDH accepts ADT (Admit/Discharge/Transfer) message types A01, A04, A03, and A08.

What HL7 version is required by VDH for syndromic surveillance data submissions?

HL7 version 2.5.1 is required for all stages of Meaningful Use.

How often should eligible professionals send syndromic surveillance data to VDH?

Syndromic surveillance data should be submitted to VDH on a daily basis.

Can an EHR vendor representative submit test messages on the behalf of eligible professionals at a practice?

Yes, an EHR vendor representative can submit test messages on behalf of a practice.

How should syndromic surveillance data be transmitted to VDH?

Please refer to the Transport Options page for more information on the message transport options supported by VDH.

How should eligible professionals register their intent to submit syndromic surveillance data to VDH?

EPs should register their intent through VDH’s Meaningful Use Registration System. EHs and EPs are required to submit a registration for each attestation year they pursue. Please keep track of the Registration ID provided upon successful registration.

What qualifies as successful active engagement for the syndromic surveillance measure in Meaningful Use Stage 2?

Active engagement with VDH may be satisfied with any of the following criteria:

  1. Completed Registration to Submit Data: Registration of intent to initiate ongoing submission was made by deadline (within 60 days of the start of the reporting period) and EP is awaiting invitation by VDH to begin testing and validation.
  2. Testing and Validation: The EP is actively engaged in the process of testing and validation of the electronic submission of data.
  3. Production: The EP has completed testing and validation of the electronic submission and is electronically submitting production data to VDH.


Eligible Hospitals (EHs) including Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs)

Is VDH accepting syndromic surveillance data submissions from eligible hospitals?

Yes, VDH is accepting syndromic surveillance data submission from eligible hospitals (including critical access hospitals) in all stages of Meaningful Use.

If our hospital is currently sending syndromic surveillance data to VDH in a format other than HL7, does this meet the Meaningful Use criteria?

While VDH appreciates early adopters who began providing syndromic surveillance data to public health prior to Meaningful Use, this does not meet the Meaningful Use measure. In order to satisfy this measure, data must be sent using HL7 2.5.1 in the format specified in the following messaging guides:

VDH would like to work with hospitals that have been sending data to convert their transmissions into the Meaningful Use-compliant HL7 format.

What events or conditions should be included in syndromic surveillance data submissions to VDH?

VDH monitors the reason for visit for all encounters seen at the hospital emergency department through syndromic surveillance; therefore, no filtering of data by event or condition should be done prior to its submission to VDH.

Does VDH expect to receive updates on each individual encounter to the hospital emergency department?

VDH expects to receive information from the time an encounter is initiated at the emergency department (i.e. registration) to when that encounter ends at the emergency department (i.e. discharge or transfer). Additionally, when final diagnosis information on an encounter has been coded and is available in the patient’s electronic health record it should be sent to VDH as an update.

Where can I find guidance on the required data elements that should be submitted to VDH by eligible hospitals for syndromic surveillance?

Guidance documentation that outlines what data elements should be sent by eligible hospitals can be found in the following specification guides:

What message types does VDH accept for syndromic surveillance?

VDH accepts ADT (Admit/Discharge/Transfer) message types A01, A04, A03, and A08.

What HL7 version is required by VDH for syndromic surveillance data submissions?

HL7 version 2.5.1 is required for all stages of Meaningful Use.

How often should eligible hospitals send syndromic surveillance data to VDH?

Syndromic surveillance data should be submitted to VDH on a daily basis, preferably using real-time transmissions, but at a minimum data should be submitted every 6 hours.

How should syndromic surveillance data be transmitted to VDH?

Please refer to the Transport Options page for more information on the message transport options supported by VDH.

How should eligible hospitals register their intent to submit syndromic surveillance data to VDH?

EHs should register their intent through VDH’s Meaningful Use Registration System.


VDH Contacts:

Syndromic Surveillance:
(804) 864-8141
syndromic@vdh.virginia.gov

Meaningful Use:
meaningfuluse@vdh.virginia.gov

 

Page last Modified: 06/30/2017 4:25PM