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Get Involved with AlaSyS

How can I access the system or request syndromic data for public health surveillance?

  • Employees of the Alabama Department of Public Health, Mobile County Health Department, or Jefferson County Department of Health can request an account to access data directly by sending an email to [email protected].
  • Others interested in obtaining limited datasets, summary reports, or additional information should complete and submit a brief online form.

Is my healthcare agency eligible to contribute data?

ADPH currently accepts data transmission from hospitals or stand-alone emergency departments (EDs) and eligible professionals (EPs) within urgent care settings (UCs). ADPH does not accept data from non-emergency departments or non-urgent care settings. To stay abreast of updates and policy changes, please visit Alabama’s Resource Center for Public Health Reporting Measures and Readiness for Promoting Interoperability and register online.

What is hospital onboarding and meaningful use?

Onboarding is the collaborative process by which AlaSyS engages hospitals who wish to contribute data on emergency department visits. Analysts work with your facility, electronic health record vendor, or health information exchange to establish secure transmission of standard messages from your electronic system to the CDC Platform (current mechanisms) or to the ADPH meaningful use portal (planned in 2020).

Resources are available to assist with the onboarding process.

  • After obtaining federal certification for your electronic health record syndromic surveillance module, facilities and their vendors may register at Alabama’s Resource Center for Public Health Reporting Measures and Readiness for Interoperability. Registration will ensure that you have access to guidance documents and receive updates. Portal registrants have access to:
    -- ASSIST: Messaging Guide for Alabama’s Syndromic Surveillance Information SysTem (ASSIST): Emergency Department and Urgent Care Data
    -- BioSense 2.0 SFTP Transport File Naming Convention
  • The Onboarding Guide to the BioSense Platform has step-by-step instructions to assist your with planning and onboarding.
  • The Public Health Information Network Syndromic Surveillance Message Guide specifies requirements for electronic message content and construct. The current version, erratum, clarifying documents, a 5-page summary of data elements of interest, and related information is kept current by CDC here.
    -- Currently, the only method of message transmission is secure file transfer protocol (sFTP).
    -- Messages must adhere to the HL7 2.5.1 standard.

Meaningful Use is the term for using certified electronic health record (EHR) technology in a meaningful manner (for example sharing syndromic surveillance data); ensuring that the certified EHR technology is connected in a manner that provides for the electronic exchange of health information to improve the quality of care. Meaningful Use was included as one of many measures to modernize the nation’s health infrastructure and is led by the United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as directed by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009. CMS incentives are tied to meaningful use achievements as a way of encouraging hospital participation. Read this and much more at the CDC.

Contact AlaSyS

Questions and comments about ADPH syndromic surveillance activities can be emailed to [email protected] or you can contact us by phone Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by calling 334-206-5971.

Page last updated: May 28, 2024