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     Meaningful Use and Public Health
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) is providing financial incentives to encourage the use of electronic health records (EHRs). 
The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has implemented incentive programs for eligible health care professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals to adopt, implement or demonstrate meaningful use (MU) of certified EHR technology. 
The submission of immunization data, syndromic surveillance data, and reportable laboratory reports is included in the strategies for demonstrating “meaningful use” of EHR systems.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) is working with eligible professionals (EP's), eligible hospitals (EH's), and critical access hospitals (CAH's) on all of the public health reporting measures that are part of Meaningful Use.
NDHHS is currently able to receive the following: 
  • NESIIS - Immunization Data:
    • File Specifications:  HL7 2.3.1* or 2.5.1
    • Transport Method:  PHINMS or SOAP Web Services (preferred)
    • Bi-directional exchange available
  • NEDSS - Electronic Lab Reporting:
    • File Specifications:  HL7 2.3.1** or HL7 2.5.1
    • Transport Method:  PHINMS
  • SSEDON - Emergency Department Syndromic Surveillance:
  • SSEDON - Inpatient Facility Syndromic Surveillance:
    • File Specifications:  HL7 2.5.1
    • Transport Method:  PHINMS
    • NDHHS is not accepting syndromic data from EP's at this time.
* HL7 2.5.1 is required for MU in most cases for immunizations.
** HL7 2.5.1 is required for MU for lab reporting.  Only in rare instances will new HL7 2.3.1 data feeds be added.
How to Proceed:
To send NDHHS data, as part of Meaningful Use or not, please follow the steps below.  If registering for MU, all locations (EH/CAH's) and/or EP's must be registered.  For example, if a clinic with two EP's and a hospital are going to send NDHHS data, please complete two registrations; 1 for the clinic where each EP will be listed, and 1 for the hospital.
NOTE: Registrations must be completed for each stage of MU.
A registration must be completed for Stage 2 on or before day 60 of your reporting period.
Step 1: 
Please complete the online registration to begin the process with NDHHS.  You may review the questions prior to completing the online survey by clicking here.  Please answer all questions and fill it out completely.  Incomplete registration forms will not be processed until all information has been submitted.  If unsure of an answer, put N/A to complete the registration or email your questions to NDHHS.  Make sure that contacts on the registration are indeed the individuals that need to be engaged in the onboarding process.
Step 2: 
Upon receiving the registration, NDHHS will review it for accuracy and completeness and follow up with any questions.  When no further questions exist, an email confirming the registration and outlining next steps will be sent.  At that time, the registration will be forwarded to the appropriate registries (NESIIS, NEDSS, & SSEDON) to begin the onboarding process.

Step 3:
NDHHS staff for each registry will contact the primary, alternate, and technical contacts on the registration to begin the onboarding process.  Additional questions may be asked and information on specifications may be provided.


The following links contain additional guidance, messaging specifications, and contact information for each of the registries available for MU public health objectives. 


Step 4:
Work with NDHHS throughout the onboarding process.  Upon successfully onboarding with NDHHS (or testing as it pertains to MU Stage 1), NDHHS will issue an acknowledgement that you have met our objectives for submitting electronic health data.

If you have any questions regarding the three registries (NESIIS, NEDSS, & SSEDON) or Meaningful Use, please contact:
Jesse Clarke
Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services
Phone: 402-471-3727
Michelle Hood
NESIIS, HIE, and Meaningful Use Coordinator
Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services
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