MDH Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR) and Meaningful Use
Laboratory reporting is a critical component of disease surveillance. For laboratories that generate reportable condition reports, Minnesota's electronic lab reporting (ELR) system provides a secure electronic means to automate reporting through an electronic network. There are many benefits of ELR including improved timeliness, reduction of manual data entry errors, reports that are more complete reporting and enable public health to respond more quickly to reports. Electronic laboratory reporting has been promoted as a public health priority for the past several years and its inclusion as a meaningful use objective for public health serves as a catalyst to accelerate its adoption.
How to Achieve Electronic Data Submission with MDH
Step 1: Registration
All facilities/laboratories wanting to submit electronic data to MDH are required to first register, this includes meaningful use and non-meaningful use data submission.
Step 2: Pre-testing
Sending information to MDH electronically does not satisfy the meaningful use criteria by itself. The information must be sent in very specific formats that have been developed to send health-related information between health care information systems. The MDH ELR program requires all facilities/laboratories to generate and evaluate test messages prior to submitting test messages to MDH. Use the resources below to ensure the test messages are correctly formatted and the content is valid.
- Appendix A – MDH Specifications for ELR (HL7 2.5.1) (PDF:276KB/34 pages) (Excel:412KB)
- Appendix B – MDH Reportable Diseases Mapping Table for ELR (PDF:70KB/10 pages)
- Appendix C – Lab Code List Template and Instructions (Excel: 186KB)
Step 3: Onboarding
All registered facilities/laboratories will be invited to onboard and this process includes testing, validation and moving to production/ongoing submission. A queue may be initiated depending on the number of facilities/laboratories registered and the priority list established by the MDH ELR Steering Team.
Step 4: Ongoing Submission with Quality Assurance
When content validation is complete, access to the production environment is granted for ongoing data submissions. Ongoing data submissions are routinely monitored. Organizations may be asked to address issues with their data exchange interface periodically.
Contact health.ELRmeaningfuluse@state.mn.us for questions and more information.