A Demonstration of Meaningfully Using the ISDS Recommended Data Elements

National Health IT Initiatives are helping to advance the state of automated disease surveillance through incentives to health care facilities to implement electronic medical records and provide data to health departments and use collaborative systems to enhance quality of care and patient safety. While the emergence of a standard for the transfer of surveillance data is urgently needed, migrating from the current practice to a future standard can be a source of frustration.

May 02, 2019

Ten Years of Syndromic Surveillance in New Hampshire: Innovation, Experience and Outcomes

In response to the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, the NH Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS) engaged state and external partners in the design of an early warning surveillance system to support bioterrorism and emergency preparedness. Initially, NH DHHS began collecting four syndrome counts from thirteen hospital Emergency Departments (ED) by fax. Automation began in 2002, when an over the counter (OTC) syndromic surveillance pilot system was implemented by Scientific Technologies Corporation (STC).

May 02, 2019

Unstructured Free-text Data and Meaningful Use

In 2010, as rules for the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Electronic Heatlh Record (EHR) Incentive Programs (Meaningful Use)(1), were finalized, ISDS became aware of a trend towards new EHR systems capturing or sending emergency department (ED) chief complaint (CC) data as structured variables without including the free-text. This perceived shift in technology was occurring in the absence of consensus-based technical requirements for syndromic surveillance and survey data on the value of free-text CC to public health practice.

May 02, 2019

Syndromic Surveillance for Meaningful Use: Inpatient and Ambulatory Clinical Care Data

Presented November 8, 2011

Charlie Ishikawa, MSPH, the Associate Director of Public Health Programs at ISDS, gives an introduction and project overview of the new ISDS Meaningful Use initiative. Watch this video to learn more about the new project and to find different ways to become involved.

May 15, 2019

Meaningful Use Rules and the PHIN Syndromic Surveillance Messaging Guide

Join the ISDS Public Health Practice Committee for a special meeting with Dr. Farzad Mostashari, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and founding president of ISDS. Following a brief discussion with Dr. Mostashari about Meaningful Use, the committee will then host Ms. Mary Hamilton, a lead developer of the CDC's PHIN Syndromic Surveillance Messaging Guide which translates recommendations made by ISDS for Meaningful Use. Ms. Hamilton will provide a practical overview of the guide and discuss how to use this resource in practice.


October 20, 2017

Final Recommendation: Core Processes and EHR Requirements for Public Health Syndromic Surveillance

The purpose of this document is to define the core of PHSS practice and the minimum EHR data requirements widely used to support the core. This recommendation provides the CDC and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), with business requirements that will support Meaningful Use stakeholders in meeting the Stage 1 public health surveillance objective.

October 13, 2017

Health IT meaningful use: how the EHR certification may improve the electronic laboratory reporting (ELR)

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) brought significant incentives to providers for implementing certified EHR technologies. It specifically requires utilization of certified electronic health records (EHRs) for electronic exchange of health information and for submission of clinical quality and other measures to the federal agencies.

June 17, 2019

Meaningful use and public health surveillance: to travel fast or far?

There is an ancient African proverb that states, ‘If you want to travel fast, travel alone; if you want to travel far, travel together.’ This paper examines the issue of whether public health can and should ‘go it alone’ in efforts for creating linkages between clinical care systems and the public health sector, as part of meaningful use requirements. ‘Going it alone’ in this circumstances refers to whether public health should seek to require data flows, through meaningful use requirements, that meet its work flow needs but do not add value to clinical work flows.

June 18, 2019

Letter to the Center for Medicaid Services (CMS)

This letter from ISDS offers Comments from on proposed rule for meaningful use Medicare and Medicaid Programs Electronic Health Record Incentive Program 42CFR Parts 412, 413, 422, and 495 CMSB0033BP.

RIN 0938BAP78.

October 13, 2017

Letter to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)

This letter from ISDS offers comments on proposed rule for meaningful use Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Electronic Health Record Incentive Program in the Department of Health and Human Services in the Office of the Secretary, 45 CFR Part 170 RIN 0991–AB58.


October 13, 2017


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National Syndromic
Surveillance Program


The National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) is a collaboration among states and public health jurisdictions that contribute data to the BioSense Platform, public health practitioners who use local syndromic surveillance systems, Center for Disease Control and Prevention programs, other federal agencies, partner organizations, hospitals, healthcare professionals, and academic institutions.

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