Meaningful Use

Epidemiology and Informatics
Public Health

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What you need to know

Meaningful Use and Public Health

Reporting data of syndromic surveillance is a core objective related to public health for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAH). It is also a Menu Objective for eligible professionals (EPs) who confirm Stage 2 Meaningful Use (MU).

For Stage 1 MU

The hospital, CAH or EP must perform at least one test of the certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology's capacity to provide electronic syndromic surveillance data, ELR, or Immunization data to public health agencies.  The Hospital, CAH or EP must also follow-up submission if the test is successful.

For Stage 2 MU

The hospital or CAH must provide successful ongoing submission of electronic syndromic surveillance data from certified EHR Technology to public health agencies. The hospital or CAH must do so for the whole EHR reporting period.

EPs may choose electronic SS reporting as one of their menu objectives. If chosen as one of the menu objectives then the EP must also provide successful ongoing submission of electronic SS data from Certified EHR Technology to public health agencies. The EP must do so for the whole EHR reporting period.

DHHS is currently able to receive the following:

Immunization Data (NESIIS)

  • File Specifications: HL7 2.3.1* or 2.5.1
  • Transport Method:  PHINMS or SOAP Web Services (preferred)
  • Bi-directional exchange available

*HL7 2.5.1 is required for MU in most cases for immunizations.

Electronic Laboratory Reporting (NEDSS)

  • File Specifications:  HL7 2.3.1** or HL7 2.5.1
  • Transport Method:  PHINMS

** 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.

    Emergency Department Syndromic Surveillance (SSEDON)

    • File Specifications: HL7 2.5.1
    • Transport Method: PHINMS

    Inpatient Facility Syndromic Surveillance (SSEDON)

    • File Specifications: HL7 2.5.1
    • Transport Method: PHINMS
    • DHHS is not accepting syndromic data from EPs at this time.

    How to Send Data to DHHS for Meaningful Use

    To send DHHS data, as part of Meaningful Use or not, please follow the steps below. If registering for MU, all locations (EH/CAH's) and/or EPs must be registered. For example, if a clinic with two EPs and a hospital are going to send DHHS data, please complete two registrations; 1 for the clinic where each EP will be listed, and 1 for the hospital.


    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 DHHS. 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 DHHS. Make sure that contacts on the registration are indeed the individuals that need to be engaged in the onboarding process.
    Click Here to Register Online

    Step 2

    Upon receiving the registration, DHHS 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

    DHHS 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.

    Step 4

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

    Additional Meaningful Use Resources

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


    Epidemiology and Informatics Unit
    Epidemiology and Informatics Unit, Division of Public Health 
    Phone Number
    (402) 471-2937
    Fax Number
    (402) 471-3601
    Mailing Address
    P.O. Box 95026, Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-5026