Office for Health Information Technology

Meaningful Use and Syndromic Surveillance

Syndromic surveillance reporting has public health reporting measures for Meaningful Use. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) incentives for hospital compliance with meaningful use include the ‘‘Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program’’ “Demonstrate Meaningful Use of Certified EHR technology”.

As of February 14, 2012, Maine CDC is ready to accept Meaningful Use compliant electronic syndromic surveillance messages from hospital emergency departments and associated urgent care centers. The following documents provide specific information for participating in syndromic surveillance.

  • Hospital contact form (.doc)
  • Maine syndromic surveillance summary document (.pdf)
  • Maine syndromic surveillance summary presentation (.pdf)

The meaningful use objectives and measures for syndromic surveillance are below.

Stage 1

  • Objective - Capability to submit electronic syndromic surveillance data to public health agencies and actual submission in accordance with applicable law and practice
  • Measure - Performed at least one test of certified EHR technology's capacity to provide electronic syndromic surveillance data to public health agencies and follow-up submission if the test is successful - Menu item for both Eligible Hospitals (EH) and Eligible Providers (EP)

Stage 2

  • Objective - Capability to submit electronic syndromic surveillance data to public health agencies and actual submission in accordance with applicable law and practice
  • Measure - Successful ongoing submission of electronic syndromic surveillance data from Certified EHR Technology to a public health agency for the entire EHR reporting period – Menu item for EP; Core item for EH


Eligible Professionals or Eligible Hospitals must submit the following basic information for testing purposes:

  • To engage with Maine CDC for syndromic surveillance reporting please contact

    • Provider Information:
      • Name, Address, Organizational National Provider Identifiers (NPI) of the testing business unit, and Practice Phone Number
    • Submitter Name and Email
      • If you would like testing results to be sent to another contact, the name and email of this contact
    • EHR Software Package and Version
      • EHR technologies that meet the certification requirements for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs are listed on the ONC Web siteExternal site disclaimerspecifically for either syndromic surveillance or laboratory results to public health agencies.

Standards and Requirements for Eligible Hospitals and Associated Urgent Care Centers

Vocabulary: A message implementation guideExternal site disclaimer is available for nationwide use

Reportable Findings: Information on all visits to hospital emergency departments, and urgent care facilities, should be included in the transmission.

Reporting Timeframe: Files should be submitted at least once a day for the previous 24 hour period (12:00am-11:59pm). They are generally transmitted between midnight and early morning, with data from the previous calendar day. Files may be sent in batches or multiple times a day. Alternative methods of submission may be discussed.

Meaningful Use Stage 1 requires facilities to submit at least one test transmission, and to follow-up with actual transmissions if the test is successful.

Meaningful Use Stage 2 requires ongoing submission of electronic data to public health.

  • Maine CDC business and technical contacts will work with hospital partners on any questions regarding message data elements or message construct based on the PHIN Messaging Guide for Syndromic Surveillance.
  • Once the EHR system is able to produce a message based on the implementation guide, the facility will need to verify the message using the PHIN Message Quality Framework (MQF) – site disclaimer.
  • Once the message has passed the MQF with no problems identified, a test message should be sent to Maine CDC for construct validation.
  • After any issues found during construct validation have been addressed, the Maine CDC technical contact will work with the facility to establish message transport into Maine CDC’s acceptance testing environment.
  • The facility, if currently participating in syndromic surveillance, should continue to send data by their current method while Maine CDC conducts content validation.
  • After the feed is established and technical and business validation is completed, Maine CDC will notify the facility that the data will be moved into production. The facility is expected to maintain the transmissions to meet the meaningful use objective and to comply with appropriate reporting and usual practice.

Message transport: Maine CDC currently supports Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) and PHINMS as the message transport system.