Syndromic Surveillance   

Syndromic Surveillance: Submitting Data | On-Boarding Process

What is Syndromic Surveillance?

Syndromic surveillance is used to identify illness clusters early, before diagnoses are confirmed and reported to public health agencies, and to initiate a rapid response, thereby reducing morbidity and mortality. 

This refers to the information available at the time of a patient’s first clinical encounter with an outpatient provider or an emergency department such as patient identifiers and triage information. Public health agencies benefit because they will get the information quicker than waiting on a definitive, laboratory-confirmed diagnosis. Early detection of certain syndromes will increase disease control and response time in the event of an outbreak. 

Specific Examples: It is well recognized that many laboratory studies (e.g.: bacterial enteric pathogen serologic testing, stool culture, or pulsed field gel electrophoresis i.e.: fingerprinting) on potential foodborne illnesses can take 2-3 weeks to be completed and reported to the provider. Further, definitive diagnoses of some vaccine preventable diseases and tick-borne diseases require tests to be repeated roughly a month after the initial tests. A functional syndromic surveillance system could prompt early recognition of these types of problems; thereby, helping to prevent the outbreak from worsening.

Summary: Syndromic surveillance is a relatively new method of disease surveillance that all states are beginning to use to protect their citizens. Syndromic surveillance data will be accepted by the Arkansas Department of Health and handled in accordance with all laws governing protected health information. It will be used to provide early identification of events of public health importance, thereby facilitating more rapid, targeted, and effective response.

Submitting Data

ADH is accepting syndromic surveillance data from Eligible Hospitals (EHs), Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), and some, but not all Eligible Professionals (EPs) for the purposes of satisfying Stage 1 or Stage 2 criteria for Meaningful Use.

Accepting criteria for EPs: If you are a single clinic or multi-clinic group that provide one of the following types of care: 

  1. Urgent, acute, or walk-in care
  2. Primary care, defined as: 
    • General practice
    • Family medicine
    • Pediatric medicine
    • Internal medicine
    • Community Health
  3. Specialty Care 
    • Infectious Disease 
    • Environmental Health/Occupational Health

At this time ADH has no plans to collect data from the following types of clinics for Meaningful Use:                                          

  • Addiction Medicine
  • Allergy/ Immunology
  • Anesthesiology
  • Anticoagulation
  • Audiology
  • Behavioral Health
  • Breast Health
  • Cardiology
  • Chiropractic
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Dental
  • Dermatology
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Diagnostic Radiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Genetics
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Geriatric Psychiatry
  • Hematology
  • Hepatology
  • Interventional Radiology Medicine
  • Massage Therapy
  • Midwifery
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Nutrition
  • Occupational
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Oncology
  • Oncology - Hematologic
  • Ophthalmology
  • Opticianry
  • Optometry
  • Orthopedics
  • Osteopathic Manipulative
  • Otolaryngology
  • Pain Management
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy
  • Podiatry
  • Psychiatry
  • Pulmonary Medicine
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Radiology
  • Rheumatology
  • Social Work
  • Speech Pathology
  • Sports Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Urology
  • Vascular Medicine
  • Wound/Ostomy

Eligible providers and Eligible hospitals interested in pursuing the syndromic surveillance Meaningful Use objective may work through the "On-Boarding Process". Urgent care centers are also encouraged to submit syndromic surveillance data to the agency

  The Meaningful Use public health option allows Eligible Professionals (EP) or Eligible Hospitals (EH) to electronically submit data on syndromic surveillance using Health Language Seven (HL7) message.

Meaningful Use Syndromic Surveillance On-Boarding Instructions
Syndromic Surveillance Attestation Process


Contact Email
Syndromic Coordinator