Case Study: Digital Bridge

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Bridging the Case Reporting Gap Between Hospital and Health Department

The Challenge

Reporting cases of certain infectious and communicable diseases to state health agencies and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is an important public health protocol — and one that is still primarily manual. Reporting such cases is critical for disease surveillance and detection of possible outbreaks and trends. At the CDC, there was growing concern that reports of infectious disease were not being filed in a timely manner. 

The Solution

The Houston Health Department approached Houston Methodist Center for Innovation to participate in a pilot for a CDC-funded program. Houston Methodist partnered with electronic case reporting (eCR) via the Digital Bridge program to connect its electronic health records (EHR) data to this important local health agency.

 

Digital Bridge is a record exchange program that coordinates the pilot groups participating in the efforts to automate the filing of a case report to a central decision support service managed by the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE).

The Pilot

Houston Methodist is the first hospital system of eight national pilot sites to successfully test and launch an eCR program that automatically sends case reports directly from a hospital to public health agencies for diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, pertussis, salmonella and Zika. 

The Results

Electronic case reports are now automatically sent from Houston Methodist Hospital through the Digital Bridge initiative with no human intervention.  Algorithms determine the reportability to the Health Department.

What's Next?

Electronic case reports are now automatically sent from Houston Methodist Hospital through the Digital Bridge initiative with no human intervention.  Algorithms determine the reportability to the Health Department.

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