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What is NEDSS?

NEDSS is a national initiative driven by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to improve the timeliness, completeness, accuracy, and uniformity of surveillance data.  The “NEDSS vision” includes use of the Internet for data collection and transmission, collection of data as close to the source as possible, incorporation of electronic laboratory reporting and use of uniform coding schemes and data transmission protocols. 

Pennsylvania’s Electronic Disease Reporting project, PA-NEDSS, is Pennsylvania’s response to this national initiative. PA-NEDSS is a way to report diseases and investigative findings to the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) via the Internet.  It replaces the card and form-based methods by enabling incidence of disease to be entered in a secure, on-line tool providing a consolidated means for analyzing public health data while improving the timeliness of disease reporting.  As of November 16th, 2003, PA-NEDSS is the mandatory electronic disease reporting application for Pennsylvania.  For more information about electronic disease reporting regulation please review [33 Pa.B 2439]

PA-NEDSS Functionality

PA-NEDSS establishes a near real-time, secure communication link between laboratories, hospitals, individual medical practices, and the PA DOH.  While the reporting process remains unchanged, PA-NEDSS seeks to improve the timeliness and accuracy of disease reporting and expand the public health infrastructure to improve response to possible bioterrorism attacks.  PA-NEDSS provides the following core features:
  1. Web-based reporting for labs, hospitals, and physicians
  2. Integrated Electronic Lab Reporting (ELR)
  3. Integrated Health Alert Network (HAN)
  4. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) and report extracts for CDC
  5. Graphical reporting/analytical tools
  6. Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping tools used to plot cases on a map
  7. Comprehensive and integrated system for all program areas including Case Management for Epidemiology (EPI), Tuberculosis (TB), Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), Elevated Blood Lead Level (Lead) program areas, and HIV/AIDS surveillance
  8. Aggregate Reporting capabilities for responding to increased report volume and special circumstances by allowing the PA DOH to configure questions for physicians, hospitals/clinics and laboratories to quickly solicit information during a Public Health Event (PHE). Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) policy will determine when a PHE exists that warrants enabling the aggregate reporting screens.
For more detailed information regarding current PA-NEDSS functionality click here.

Who are PA-NEDSS Users?

Physicians, laboratories, and hospitals that report diseases, and the public health investigators who investigate diseases and outbreaks are the users of PA-NEDSS.

DOH and PA-NEDSS Win Awards
The PA DOH and PA-NEDSS were awarded an Agency Award in August 2003 from the Government Computer News magazine for its innovative IT accomplishments in the design, development, and implementation of PA-NEDSS.  In addition, the PA-NEDSS project has been awarded the Gracie's Award from Government Executive Magazine in 2003, the Computer World Honors Laureate Class of 2004, and the Davies Award of Excellence from Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society in 2005.