Syndromic Surveillance

New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) is currently capable of receiving Syndromic Surveillance data from visits to emergency departments (ED) and urgent care centers and encourages real-time submission. 

Syndromic surveillance is a strategy used by public health for early event detection and monitoring of the health of a community.  It uses “pre diagnostic” information, such as chief complaints from people seeking acute care, to identify emerging trends.  NJDOH uses syndromic surveillance to monitor the level of influenza-like illness during flu season, illnesses and injuries associated with a bioterrorism event, infectious disease symptoms, suspected drug overdoses and emerging outbreaks and issues of public health concern in the community. 

Real-time emergency department data are currently collected from New Jersey acute care hospitals, satellite EDs and urgent cares by Health Monitoring Systems Inc.’s (HMS) EpiCenter system.  EpiCenter collects, manages, and analyzes the data for syndromic surveillance, and provides access to public health and hospital users via a desktop application in a secure browser. 

Promoting Interoperability

The New Jersey Department of Health accepts HL7 v 2.3.1 and 2.5.1 for syndromic surveillance via the connection between facilities and the EpiCenter system.

To meet Promoting Interoperability, submissions must be sent from a Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT) in the HL7 2.5.1 format for Stage 2 and HL7 2.3.1 or 2.5.1 for Stage 1.

NOTE: If your CEHRT system is set up to send batch files versus real-time data to meet these criteria, please use the “Contact Us” link below to request further guidance and instructions. While batch file data meets the CMS Promoting Interoperability criteria, it is does not fulfill the NJDOH need for ongoing syndromic surveillance. Therefore, it is requested that existing real-time connections continue to be maintained.

How To Get Started

If you are sending syndromic surveillance data to NJDOH and if you have any questions or need additional information, please fill out the Contact Us form and we will get back to you.

Last Reviewed: 8/9/2023