Electronic Reporting

Electronic Laboratory Report

Electronic laboratory reporting (ELR) is the process of obtaining automated, electronic feeds of laboratory reports from participating providers and facilities for monitoring notifiable conditions as part of public health surveillance and preparedness activities. The Houston Electronic Disease Surveillance System (HEDSS) receives ELRs from hospitals, clinics, and laboratories.

Receiving ELRs improves the quality (accuracy, completeness, consistency) of lab data in HEDSS and consequently improves the efficiency and effectiveness of Houston Health Department surveillance and outbreak response.

ELR also fulfills eligible hospitals’ public health requirements for meaningful use. 

Electronic Case Reporting (eCR)

Electronic case reporting (eCR) is the automated, real-time exchange of case report information between electronic health records (EHRs) and public health agencies. It moves data quickly, securely, and seamlessly from EHRs in healthcare facilities to state and local public health agencies.

Find more information on Electronic Case Reporting from CDC.

Several Texas laws require specific information regarding notifiable conditions be provided to the Health Department. Health care providers, hospitals, laboratories, schools, and others are required to report patients who are suspected of having a notifiable condition. eCR enables healthcare providers to fulfill these mandatory reporting requirements.

Find more information on mandatory reporting from Texas Health and Human Services.

Declaration of eCR Readiness (Nov. 1, 2021)

  • The Houston Health Department will continue accepting eCR data for selected Texas notifiable conditions (list coming soon).
  • All facilities should continue reporting notifiable conditions through their current routes and processes until notified otherwise by the Houston Health Department.

Requirements for Eligible Providers

  • If you’re in Houston: Houston Health Department uses the HL7 electronic initial case report (eICR) standards (R1.1 and R3) for electronic case reporting (eCR) and to support the new CMS Promoting Interoperability regulations for eCR. It is these standards that we will use to eventually eliminate manual reporting requirements. We also require the use of APHL AIMS and the Reportable Condition Knowledge Management System (RCKMS) to ensure appropriate reporting.
  • If you’re in Texas but not Houston: Please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services Electronic Case Reporting (eCR) page.

Please contact us to confirm eligibility, schedule an onboarding phone call, or to discuss the process further. 

Contact email: eCR@houstontx.gov