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“Meaningful Use” Submissions of Syndromic Surveillance Data


Included in the strategies for demonstrating Meaningful Use of the EHR systems is the submission of syndromic surveillance data to public health agencies. This objective applies to Eligible Hospitals (EH) and to select Eligible Professionals (EP) in Virginia.

Syndromic surveillance is a strategy used by public health for early event detection and to monitor the health of the community. It uses “pre diagnostic” information, such as chief complaints from people seeking acute care, to identify emerging trends of public health concern. The data are grouped into syndromes based on the patient’s symptoms and statistical algorithms are run to identify unusual temporal and geographic patterns 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): For Stage 1, VDH is accepting submissions from EHs or from EPs practicing at urgent care centers only. All other types of EPs may claim an exclusion during Stage 1.

Exclusions (Stage 2): For Stage 2, VDH is accepting submissions from EHs or from EPs who practice in family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, infectious disease, or urgent care. All other types of EPs may claim an exclusion during Stage 2. If you are an EP working on Stage 2 and have questions about whether VDH will accept submissions from your practice, please e-mail MeaningfulUse@vdh.virginia.gov.


Onboarding Process for Syndromic Surveillance Message

For Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 1, providers must complete Steps 1-3. For MU Stage 2, Providers must demonstrate ongoing progress towards Step 5. 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.

Click on each step below to learn more.

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.
  • VDH will provide EH or EP attesting for Stage 1 an acknowledgement of successful submission of test message at the completion of this step.
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 to 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?

Yes, VDH will be accepting syndromic surveillance data from eligible professionals in Stage 2 of Meaningful Use. In Stage 1 of Meaningful Use, VDH will only be accepting syndromic surveillance data from eligible hospitals (including critical access hospitals) and eligible professionals who practice at urgent care centers. Other all types of eligible professionals may claim an exclusion for Stage 1 only.

What types or specialties of eligible professionals does VDH plan to accept data submissions from?

In Stage 2, VDH is accepting syndromic surveillance data from eligible professionals in the following practice types: family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, infectious disease, urgent care, and multispecialty where at least one of the above services is provided. Please contact VDH (MeaningfulUse@vdh.virginia.gov) if you have questions about whether your practice is expected to send syndromic surveillance data.

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

VDH monitors the reason for visit for all encounters seen by eligible professionals at the practice-level through syndromic surveillance; therefore, no filtering of data by event or condition should be done prior to its submission 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 Syndromic Surveillance Submission Guide for Emergency Department and Urgent Care Data. Guidance documentation that outlines what data element should be sent by all other types of eligible professionals can be found in the Syndromic Surveillance Submission Guide for Ambulatory Data.

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 Stage 1 and Stage 2.

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?

Through VDH’s Meaningful Use Registration System.

 

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 in Stage 1 and Stage 2 of Meaningful Use.

If our hospital is currently sending syndromic data to VDH, 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 objective. In order to satisfy this objective, data must be sent using HL7 2.5.1 in the format specified in the Syndromic Surveillance Submission Guide for Emergency Department and Urgent Care Data. 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 Syndromic Surveillance Submission Guide for Emergency Department and Urgent Care Data.

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 Stage 1 and Stage 2.

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?

Through VDH’s Meaningful Use Registration System.


VDH Contacts:

Syndromic Surveillance:
Erin Austin
804-864-7548
erin.austin@vdh.virginia.gov

Email:
MeaningfulUse@vdh.virginia.gov


Last Updated: 03-12-2014

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