Reporting certain conditions to appropriate public health agencies (PHAs) is legally required in all states and territories. But 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 addresses all of these issues and relieves healthcare provider burden by automating the reporting process, managing the determination of what is reportable, when, and to whom in the background of electronic health record (EHR) systems. eCR can help bring healthcare providers into compliance with state laws. eCR also reduces much of the provider burden of investigation and follow-up by providing much 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 providers' leadership and eCR champions. In it are high-level items that need to be addressed to go into eCR production. The items include:
- EHR readiness
- Communicating intent
- Planning connectivity
- Onboarding and production
There is also a separate section with details for EHR implementers where EHR vendors and healthcare technical staff will find the specific details necessary to move into production.