Notifiable disease reporting may double with required electronic lab reporting

Case report volumes for public health departments are forecasted to double when federal requirements for automated electronic laboratory reporting of notifiable diseases go into effect next year, according to a new study by researchers from the Regenstrief Institute Inc. and the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

An announcement notes that this is the first study to estimate what will occur with the 2015 required adoption of electronic laboratory reporting under Meaningful Use.

Notifiable disease reports--required for sexually transmitted diseases, E. coli, tuberculosis, Lyme disease and other conditions--currently are submitted by hospitals and physicians' offices to state and county public health departments by fax, phone or paper mail. As the study points out, electronic laboratory reporting not only prevents information from falling through the cracks, but also improves the timeliness of data transmittal.

"An increase of the magnitude we estimate will significantly impact local and state health departments' workloads as they follow up on reports, placing pressure on these departments, many of which have had budget cuts, to do more with less," study lead author Brian Dixon, a Regenstrief Institute investigator and assistant professor of health informatics at IUPUI and a Department of Veterans Affairs research scientist, said in the announcement. Announcement

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