MDH Interoperability and Public Health Reporting
Based on feedback from Minnesota partners, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has developed interoperability strategies to:
- Reduce administrative burden of public health reporting.
- Help partners meet Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) public health reporting requirements.
- Improve data quality, so shared information can better support responses to emerging threats and population health issues.
- Inform partners of benefits to their organizations and their patients with improved electronic public health reporting for their organizations and patients.
To engage in interoperability with MDH, partners are encouraged to review the MDH Interoperability Webinar Series and to work within their organization to identify priority public health reporting use cases, using the MDH Interoperability Checklist, and to email the checklist to email@example.com (note: this checklist is also used as interim documentation of external partner interest and intent for onboarding CMS-required public health reporting use cases).
Currently available public health use cases and links to more information on each include:
- Electronic Case Reporting (eCR) *
- Laboratory Orders/Results – Infectious Disease Lab (IDL)
- Laboratory Orders/Results – Newborn Screening Blood Spot
- Expanded Syndromic Surveillance with Participation in the National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) *
- Traumatic Brain Injury/Spinal Cord Injury (TBI/SCI) reporting
- Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR) *
- Immunization Reporting (MIIC) *
* Denotes a public health reporting requirement in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Rules, effective Jan. 1, 2022.
Three recent decisions of MDH leadership to help meet these interoperability strategies:
- Continue to receive COVID-19 syndromic surveillance data for COVID-19 situational awareness until facilities have implemented National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) data feed for syndromic surveillance.
- Use a Minnesota health information organization (HIO), Koble Minnesota, to simplify public health reporting transactions.
- Use the NSSP data feed to replace manual reporting to MDH of COVID-19 hospitalizations (see more information on the NSSP page).
MDH use of vendors for interoperability:
MDH contracts with interoperability vendor(s) to reduce work effort and resource use at MDH. It is the responsibility of the interoperability vendor to securely receive, transform, and forward public health transaction messages; analyze those transactions to meet MDH specifications; identify gaps; work with the external partners to help meet those specifications; forward only data needed for public health use cases; and set up ongoing monitoring processes to ensure the data continues to meet standards.
In the past two years, MDH has asked hospitals and health systems to share admission, discharge, transfer transactions with the MN Encounter Alert Service (MN EAS), via Audacious Inquiry (Ai) or Koble Minnesota, for the purpose of monitoring COVID-19 and COVID-19-related conditions in Minnesota. MDH will transition away from this COVID-19-only feed with the implementation of NSSP, while continuing to support the MN EAS for improved care coordination of Department of Human Services (DHS) program members.
In addition, during the past year, five pilot organizations worked with the vendors and MDH to understand, evaluate, and implement the NSSP and traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury (TBI/SCI) public health reporting use cases, which use and expand on admission, discharge, transfer transactions. MDH appreciates all the work done by both vendors and pilot partners in this process.
After full evaluation, MDH has contracted with the Health Information Organization (HIO) Koble Minnesota for public health reporting use cases. Koble has shown data management capabilities through its use of tools and interoperability understanding, with reduced work effort of MDH teams for implementation and monitoring, and is Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)-certified, which is required by CMS for public health use cases.
External partners currently sending admission, discharge, transfer transactions to Ai may continue to do so for MN EAS or they may choose to include them with the NSSP and TBI/SCI-use cases and use the "Koble Minnesota to Ai feed" to route for MN EAS needs. Either way, the encounter alert services will continue to be supported for care coordination of DHS program members.
For questions and to discuss other public health reporting interoperability use cases, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For the Koble Minnesota Participation Agreement and questions for Koble Minnesota, contact Chad Peterson, Charles.email@example.com.