The Washington State Department of Health supports submission of syndromic surveillance data from eligible hospitals and eligible professionals in alignment with activities related to Promoting Interoperability Programs.
Some eligible professionals may qualify for an exclusion from syndromic surveillance reporting. To determine if you qualify, please refer to the Public Health Promoting Interoperability Eligibility Criteria.
Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page for answers to many common questions about the onboarding process.
Step 1. Registration
- Register intent to submit syndromic surveillance data to public health.
- Notify DOH at firstname.lastname@example.org within 30 days of registration if you have concerns over your facility's data being forwarded to National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP).
Step 2. Message Structure Validation
- Prepare syndromic surveillance messages using the structure and content instructions outlined in the Washington State Messaging Guide for Syndromic Surveillance (PDF).
Step 3. Connectivity
Establish connectivity to the Department of Health through the Health Information Exchange (HIE). The HIE is administered by OneHealthPort and provides services that allow health care providers, health systems, and public health to securely send and receive health information electronically in standardized messages. Facilities interested in using the HIE that do not have an existing connection should visit OneHealthPort to get started and to learn about contracting, costs, and policies. If you have an existing connection to the HIE, please work with OneHealthPort to make any final preparations required to send syndromic surveillance data to the Department of Health.
- Test connectivity to the department by transmitting some test syndromic surveillance messages to the agency.
- Email email@example.com to notify department staff that files were transmitted. Include the following information in the notification:
- Facility name(s)
- Date/time of message submission
- Number of files submitted
- Sample file name
Department of Health staff will confirm that files were successfully received and verify that the messages resemble syndromic surveillance ADT messages. Please be aware department staff will not conduct detailed validation nor provide detailed feedback on these test messages.
Once test messages are submitted using a secure connection, the facility's status will change to “Testing and Validation.”
Step 4. Message Content Validation
- Ensure each facility that will be contributing syndromic surveillance data has a unique identifier. At a minimum, a unique identifier needs to be assigned to each facility with a unique physical address but may be assigned at a more granular level (e.g., suite, department). The unique ID should be included in HL7 fields MSH-4.2 and/or EVN-7.2. The unique object identifier (OID) if using the Washington State Health Information Exchange can be obtained for each unique facility by registering facilities on the OneHealthPort registration webpage.
- Begin regular transmission of syndromic surveillance messages. These messages should contain real patient data and be generated using the facility's live, production electronic health record system.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org to notify department staff that regular file transmission has begun. Include the following information in the notification:
- Facility name(s)
- Date/time data feed was turned on
- Frequency of file transmission (e.g., real-time, hourly, 1x/day)
- Sample file name
- Department of Health staff will generate a validation report for the facility by reviewing a sample of messages for consistency with federal and state requirements. Department of Health staff will notify the facility that the department is ready to begin validation and will schedule a validation kick-off meeting.
- DOH staff will work with the facility, EHR vendor, and other relevant partners to improve data quality to where it can be used for public health surveillance purposes.
Step 5. Production
- Complete and return Obtaining Assistance with Syndromic Surveillance Data Feed and Records (Word)
- Adhere to Expectations for Facilities Participating in Washington State's Syndromic Surveillance System (PDF).
Once activities for steps 4 and 5 are complete, the facility's status will be updated from “Testing and Validation” to “In Production.” Department staff will provide an acknowledgement of being “In Production” at the completion of this step. While in Production status, facilities are still expected to respond to Department of Health requests within 30 days, as data connections may require periodic updates or fixes.
Step 6. Attestation
- It is the responsibility of the data providers (i.e. facilities) to maintain records of their activities and progress. DOH will provide the following documentation of your facility's engagement:
- Acknowledgement of registration
- Invitation to onboard or qualification for exclusion (if not accepting data from your facility)
- Acknowledgement of production status
- Due to limited resources for onboarding, DOH will not be providing additional documentation of engagement. Please gather evidence such as email exchanges, meeting invites, message acknowledgements, and transport logs to show your facility is actively engaged with public health. In the event of an audit, additional documentation may be provided by DOH. Please contact email@example.com with these requests.
For More Information
Contact the Washington State Department of Health Syndromic Surveillance Program at firstname.lastname@example.org.