Current local, state, and national initiatives related to meaningful use and the modernization of electronic health records, and the growing availability of electronic information exchanges, have become important drivers to establishing syndromic surveillance systems. Effective implementation of electronic syndromic surveillance interfaces requires approaches that ensure the receipt of quality, timely, and reliable information.
While there are published specifications for the HL7 ADT message and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) validation tools, there has been little documentation about the necessary steps for a local public health department to validate and confirm that an interface that is producing consistent and quality information. The lack of effective validation efforts has led to incomplete or inconsistent data utilized by syndromic systems and their intended audiences.
The County of San Diego has developed and utilized a framework for validating new syndromic interfaces. This presentation will highlight several pragmatic methods to validate the HL7 message content, provide specific examples of validation, and describe the pitfalls that could result from a poorly validated syndromic interface.