What is eCR?
Electronic case reporting (eCR) is the automated generation and transmission of case reports from electronic health records to public health agencies for review and action. eCR reduces the burden on healthcare providers to accomplish their legal reporting requirements and improves the timeliness and completeness of case reports at the local, state, and national levels. It supports the public health reporting measure of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Promoting Interoperability Program requirements, and helps alleviate administrative burden and costs of older, siloed data exchange practices.
For Healthcare Providers
Reporting diseases and conditions of interest to public health by healthcare providers is required by law in all US States and Territories. Automating case reporting reduces provider burden and minimizes follow-up investigation phone calls and paperwork. It also provides information to healthcare providers from public health about an identified reportable condition that can include notices of disease outbreaks, infection control information, and next-step testing and patient management.
For EHR Implementers
eCR dramatically improves the timeliness, collection, and completeness of disease and condition reporting. It can lead to earlier implementation of interventions and help limit further exposure and spread. eCR from electronic health records also provides critical clinical data. eCR also includes important public health data, like travel history, that are not usually found in clinical electronic documents.
For Public Health Agencies
Automating the submission of case reports from healthcare providers reduces the burden of meeting the legal requirement to report, while improving the timeliness, accuracy, and completeness of data for public health action. Manual reporting processes can stall the public health response required to manage case investigations, contain outbreaks, or plan interventions to protect a population’s health. eCR allows reports to be sent automatically from a provider's electronic health record system to the public health agency in near real time, alleviating manual reporting burden.
For HIEs & HINs
Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) and Health Information Networks (HINs) are important partners for eCR. They can support policy and technical scalability for eCR to help enable the many-to-many connections needed between clinical care organizations and public health agencies. This section of the website contains information specific to the use of eCR services by HIEs to help reduce healthcare provider burden by automating legally required reporting from their EHRs.