HL7 collaborates with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), and the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) to support eCR Now through the use of HL7 FHIR in the nationwide initiative formulated for the rapid roll-out of automated electronic case reporting (eCR) from EHRs to state and local public health agencies.HL7 International (HL7®) announced a critical collaborative effort to support the deployment of electronic case reporting to support public health during the COVID-19 pandemic using HL7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) standard. eCR is the automated identification of reportable health events in electronic health records and their transmission to state and local public health authorities for review and action. The public health track at the upcoming HL7 Virtual FHIR Connectathon will test an eCR Now FHIR app designed to support COVID-19 reporting to state and local public health agencies.
eCR was just beginning to be operationalized when COVID-19 struck. The pandemic has exposed gaps in our current health information technology infrastructure for supporting outbreak management. The eCR Now initiative was initiated to provide electronic case reporting for COVID-19 now to provide critical clinical data for public health outbreak management based on HL7’s existing standards, which were previously jointly developed with the CDC, CSTE, APHL and the wider HL7 community. Some health systems utilize electronic health records (EHRs) that can implement rapidly now using HL7’s Clinical Document Architecture (CDA®). However, the new eCR Now FHIR® app will allow health systems to quickly add eCR capabilities to the EHRs that are already deployed in healthcare settings.
HL7 CEO Dr. Charles Jaffe commented, “The future of electronic case reporting will be enabled through FHIR. HL7 welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with the public health community to make electronic case reporting operative now.”
“The strong partnership between healthcare, industry partners, and public health is helping us to rapidly expand electronic case reporting for COVID-19,” said Chesley Richards, M.D., M.P.H., CDC’s Deputy Director for Public Health Science and Surveillance. “Electronic case reporting greatly reduces the reporting burden for healthcare, clinicians, and public health agencies, and also provides timely, more complete data to help providers and health officials respond to potential cases and take action to slow the spread of disease.”
HL7® will also bring Logica’s work on a COVID-19 data model to enable coordinated profiling.
HL7 Virtual FHIR Connectathon
The initial version of the eCR Now FHIR app was released May 1. An updated version will be available for EHR companies May 8. Organizations will have opportunity to test their implementations of the app in the public health track at the upcoming HL7 FHIR Virtual Connectathon being held May 13 – 15, 2020. Registration and more information is available here: https://www.hl7.org/events/fhir/connectathon/2020/05/.