An Open Source Quality Assurance Tool for HL7 v2 Syndromic Surveillance Messages


The CMS EHR Incentive Programs include a measure for meaningful use of EHR systems for submitting syndromic surveillance messages to public health. The Stage 2 measure defines the standard for transmission to be HL7 v2.5.1 Admit/Discharge/Transfer messages according to the PHIN Messaging Guide for Syndromic Surveillance and Conformance Clarification for EHR Certification of Electronic Syndromic Surveillance, Addendum to PHIN Messaging Guide for Syndrome Surveillance. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provides an online testing tool for validating messages. While some jurisdictions use the Biosense platform for receiving, managing, and analyzing syndromic surveillance data, there is no consistent tool that is available to jurisdictions to assess the quality and conformance of data submissions both at the time of on-boarding a new reporting facility and on an ongoing basis during production operations.

The New York City Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR), the immunization information system for NYC that has been operational since 1997, has as part of its software suite an Open Source, webbased data quality assurance (QA) tool used by its research scientists to qualify new sites for reporting data electronically via HL7 v2 messages, and for monitoring the ongoing quality of data submissions over time. A validation process evaluates incoming messages against the rules established by an implementation guide (IG) and stores the result of the evaluation in a CIR database table that is accessible by the QA Tool which displays the data to an administrative user. This project served as a proof-of-concept for implementing a similar process for syndromic surveillance.


To leverage an existing open source quality assurance software tool created for the immunization domain and modify it to serve as a quality assurance tool for syndromic surveillance messages.

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Event/Publication Date: 
December, 2015

August 22, 2017

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