Reporting certain conditions to appropriate public health agencies (PHAs) is legally required in all states and territories. Because public health reporting requirements and practices vary across jurisdictions, it can be difficult for healthcare providers to know what to report, when to report, and to whom to report. As a result, many healthcare providers are out of compliance with state laws, and reporting may not be in place to address outbreaks and public health emergencies. There have also been historical issues with reporting timeliness and completeness. In addition, healthcare providers have not always received the information they would like about these conditions in their jurisdictions from public health.
Electronic case reporting (eCR) services through the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) Informatics Messaging Services (AIMS) platform and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Reportable Condition Knowledge Management System (RCKMS) address these issues. They relieve healthcare provider burden by automating the reporting process. They also manage the determination of what is reportable, when, and to whom in the background of electronic health record (EHR) systems. eCR can help bring healthcare organizations into compliance with state laws. eCR also reduces much of the provider burden of investigation and follow-up by providing more complete clinical data, and, thereby, freeing up staff time to devote to patient care. Automated eCR is one EHR process that can help increase time with patients. When there is a reportable condition, eCR also provides information on that condition from the appropriate public health jurisdiction to healthcare providers in the context of the patient at risk.
Included here is a readiness and implementation checklist for healthcare organizations' leadership and eCR champions. In it are high-level items that need to be addressed to go into eCR production. The items include:
Verify eCR Prerequisites are Met
Confirm Policy Path
Go-Live in the Production Environment
There is also a separate section with details for EHR implementers where EHR companies and healthcare technical staff will find the specific details necessary to move into production.
Introduction to eCR – For Healthcare Organizations
Please use the below video recording and companion transcript to orient your team to eCR.
eCR Onboarding Guide for Healthcare Organizations
While your EHR or Health IT counterparts may offer eCR onboarding guidance that is specific to your EHR or Health IT product and contains further details, please reference the eCR Onboarding Guide for Healthcare Organizations (file download). Importantly, this guide is only applicable to Healthcare Organizations using an EHR or Health IT product classified as being in General Availability for eCR, as determined by the eCR leadership team.
The Electronic Case Reporting Onboarding Guide for Healthcare Organizations is written to be an EHR-agnostic document, so all Healthcare Organizations (HCOs), regardless of their EHR product, should adhere to the steps as outlined within the document as closely as possible. It is a compilation of resources and steps that most HCOs will find useful; however, the eCR onboarding process will not be identical for HCOs across all EHR products.
Some steps may need to be modified depending on the EHR product you use, availability of testing environments and connections, your ability to populate synthetic patient data into a testing environment, and other circumstances. If at any point throughout the onboarding process it becomes apparent that a step in the guide does not make sense for your organization, please work with your EHR vendor and the eCR onboarding team to understand how the process may need to be modified.