Enables Automated, Electronic Case Reporting to Public Health Agencies, Including CDC
Carequality, the national-level, common interoperability framework to enable health information exchange between and among health information networks, has released a new Carequality implementation guide, the Carequality Electronic Case Reporting Implementation Guide. While the COVID-19 pandemic inspired the expedited development of the guide, it can be used for reporting of any reportable infectious disease to public health agencies, expanding beyond just COVID-19 cases.
“We’re excited about how the entire community came together in a time of need to deliver the Electronic Case Reporting Implementation Guide,” said Dave Cassel, executive director of Carequality. “We came into this year planning to adopt two new implementation guides, both of which had been in the works for some time. With the urgency of COVID-19, the Carequality community rallied to fast track its production and release to benefit public health response to the current pandemic.”
The Carequality Electronic Case Reporting Implementation Guide addresses the requirement for public health agencies at the local, state and national-level to be notified when cases occur for certain reportable conditions, such as COVID-19. Public health agencies use the case reports to support response activities, such as case management, isolation, contact tracing and more.
Carequality worked closely with the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) in developing the new implementation guide. Supported by funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), APHL, with the CDC and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), provides a service of receiving case reports from providers, determining if they are, in fact, reportable, and then delivering them to appropriate state and local public health authorities. Almost all state public health authorities in the U.S. are currently able to receive case reports via this service.
“This guide is an important step in addressing the public health needs facing communities right now in the pandemic, but also long term,” said John Loonsk, MD, consulting CMIO at APHL and an adjunct associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “We’re glad to have worked with Carequality to develop the implementation guide to help respond to these needs in a timely manner.”
This is Carequality’s second implementation guide, the first being the Query-Based Document Exchange Implementation Guide, which was originally adopted in 2015 and updated in 2018. Carequality expects to release its third and fourth implementation guides later this year, covering HL7 FHIR-based exchange under Carequality governance, and an approach for subscription-based notifications. If organizations are interested in getting involved with the development of these implementation guides, visit Carequality’s website at https://carequality.org/get-involved/ or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Carequality’s vision has always been for a dynamic interoperability framework that would evolve with the needs of patients and providers,” said Steven Lane, MD, of Sutter Health and Carequality Steering Committee Chair. “Because of this foundational vision, the Carequality community was able to take swift action to meet the needs of public health agencies and providers to support pandemic response, with a plan for ongoing public health support after the pandemic.”