Public health reporting has been an important part of Meaningful Use since the first year of reporting in 2011. Meaningful Use Stage 1 was supported by the 2011 Edition of EHR Certification, and there were 3 requirements for public health reporting:
- Syndromic surveillance
- Electronic lab reporting.
The list of public health reporting has evolved through the stages of Meaningful Use to require other reporting criteria as well, including:
- Cancer registries
- Electronic case reporting
- Antimicrobial use and resistance reporting
- Health care surveys
Initially, not all the registries were ready to accept the public health reporting data. Readiness varied state by state. If a provider happened to be in a state that was not ready to accept reports for a given criterion, the provider got a free pass during that reporting period. Immunizations were typically the first to get completed, and coverage for the others followed suit over the years. The final three reporting requirements listed above are new for Meaningful Use Stage 3, and the technical requirements for electronic case reporting have not yet been finalized for EHR certification.
The methods by which states accept messages for public health reporting varies. Initially, many of the States adopted SOAP-based web services as a way to receive this data. However, the definition of the SOAP call often varied state to state. More recently RESTful web services are being utilized, and other protocols such as FTP might be used as well. Providers are responsible for understanding each state’s requirements.
In addition to utilizing the proper protocol, the data must be structured properly to each state’s reporting requirements. While an EHR might be certified for Meaningful Use, an individual state may still reject the submission based on the data in the message not being formatted exactly the way a state requires. An integration engine is often necessary to map the data in a way that is acceptable for each state.
During the latest testing for the 2015 Edition certification, which is required for Meaningful Use Stage 3, more robust protocol testing was initiated for the immunization criteria. The testing tool utilized during the test allowed participants to send the immunization message using a SOAP-based web service. For states that utilize this protocol for submission, the additional testing capabilities might help ease the implementation of this criteria with the state.
Corepoint Integration Engine is 2015 Edition certified for public health reporting. Thus, the engine can manipulate the public health reporting data to meet the formatting requirements of each individual state without breaking the rules of Meaningful Use. For immunizations, syndromic surveillance, or electronic lab reporting, Corepoint has the protocols and formatting capabilities to help transmit public health reports with ease.