MEDSS Frequently Asked Questions
What is MEDSS?
- MEDSS Overview
- MEDSS is Minnesota's electronic disease surveillance and reporting system that will allow public health officials to receive, manage, process and analyze disease-related data.
- The interactive system provides an automatic information gathering and decision support processes for each reportable communicable disease.
What is the goal of MEDSS?
- The goal of MEDSS is to modernize reporting and tracking of communicable diseases in the state of Minnesota by using a shared, secure and web-based system that internal Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) employees and external partners can use.
Is there automated case reporting?
- MDH is working with some partners on sending disease case reports automatically.
Who is using MEDSS?
- MEDSS is used by MDH to report nationally notifiable infectious disease to CDC, and track diseases for current statistics and possible outbreaks. In addition MEDSS may be used as a surveillance tool.
- Many county health departments, local public health, public health nurses, and others reporting diseases to MDH also use MEDSS.
Why is MDH using MEDSS?
- MEDSS allows the state to modernize disease surveillance in Minnesota and allow for one integrated comprehensive database rather than individual systems for each disease group.
- MEDSS allows for easy tracking, electronic reporting and sending data to the CDC.
- Other benefits include electronic exchange of health information, secure networks, reports to track cases, less duplication, and one shared system.
How do I use MEDSS?
To use MEDSS you must be employed by the state, county public health departments, or a hospital or other facility and reporting diseases to MDH. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Training Resources has general MEDSS training guide and instructional videos.
- A MEDSS training guide, training guides for each disease group and guides for different functionalities are available.
What is deduplication?
- MEDSS is a person centric system where all information collected is organized around a single person.
- An event within MEDSS is an instance of a person who is tied to a specific disease at a specific time. In order to have an efficient system, MEDSS wants to avoid duplicates of the same person.
- Therefore, the same person can be entered into the system with various diseases over time; each instance resulting in a different event in the MEDSS system.
- Deduplication is the process of merging two persons or events together that have erroneously be entered more than once. If you have deduplication permissions, there is an additional training guide to help you.
How does MEDSS tie into Meaningful Use?Under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, health care professionals and hospitals can qualify for incentives if they meet specific objectives that are in place to improve health care quality, safety and efficiency through the promotion of health information technology (HIT). The public health requirements for health care professionals and hospitals are:
- Sending electronic laboratory reports (ELR) to public health
- Sending immunization information to public health
- Sending surveillance information to public health
MEDSS ties into meaningful use because it is the platform that will receive the ELR information sent by laboratories to MDH, and MEDSS will be used as the surveillance platform for several groups such as birth defects and hearing loss. For more questions on meaningful use and how to meet the ELR requirements for meaningful use, please contact email@example.com.