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Updates to the HL7 2.5.1 Implementation Guide for Syndromic Surveillance


In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the PHIN Messaging Guide for Syndromic Surveillance v. 1. In the intervening years, new technological advancements including Electronic Health Record capabilities, as well as new epidemiological and Meaningful Use requirements have led to the periodic updating and revision of the Message Guide. These updates occurred through informal and semi-structured solicitation and in response to comments from across public health, governmental, academic, and EHR vendor stakeholders. Following the Message Guide v.2.0 release in 2015, CDC initiated a multi-year endeavor to update the Message Guide in a more systematic manner and released further updates via an Erratum and a technical document developed with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to clarify validation policies and certification parameters. This trio of documents were consolidated into the Message Guide v.2.1 release and used to inform the development of the NIST Syndromic Surveillance Test Suite (, validate test cases, and develop a new rules-based IG built using NIST's Implementation Guide Authoring and Management Tool (IGAMT). As part of a Cooperative Agreement (CoAg) initiated in 2017, CDC partnered with ISDS to build upon prior activities and renew efforts in engaging the Syndromic Surveillance Community of Practice for comment on the Message Guide. The goal of this CoAg is have the final product become an HL7 Standard for Trial Use following the second phase of formal HL7 balloting in Fall 2018.

Objective: To describe the latest revisions and modifications to the œHL7 2.5.1 Implementation Guide for Syndromic Surveillance (formerly the PHIN Message Guide for Syndromic Surveillance) that were made based on community commentary and resolution of feedback from the HL7 balloting process. In addition, the next steps and future activities as the IG becomes an HL7 Standard for Trial Use will be highlighted.

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