Public Health Registries
GaHIN plays an important role in ensuring the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) receives needed and/or required health information for public health registries while streamlining the reporting process for healthcare providers. GaHIN’s connection to DPH automates the submission process rather than requiring manual entries or monthly file uploads.
Public health registries are:
- A collection of information about individuals, usually focused on a specific diagnosis or condition;
- The availability of this data at the state level allows health researchers to analyze geographic, racial and other differences that provide clues that point to risk factors;
- This data also helps in determining where early detection, educational, or other programs should be directed.
Currently GaHIN is connected to two registries and is in the process of finalizing electronic submission for Georgia Registry of Immunization Transactions and Services (GRITS) and eLabs Submission (via SendSS Gateway ~ State Electronic Notifiable Disease Surveillance System).
Connections exist for:
Birth Defects Registry – The goal of the registry is to capture information on babies both with one of 41 birth defects and ensure affected children and their families are referred to early intervention services. According to DPH, nearly 4,000 babies are born each year with a birth defect. One in six infant deaths is due to a birth defect, making birth defects the leading cause of death in the first year of life.
Alzheimer’s Registry – Over 130,000 Georgians of all ages are estimated to have Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia (ADRD) per DPH. With the state’s population aging, DPH predict the number to increase by almost 50% in the next decade. The registry is used to collect and disseminate data to inform programs and services for the aging population and identify epidemiologic trends.
Electronic Case Reporting
Another option from GaHIN for public health reporting is through Electronic Case Reporting (eCR). This automated service uses the functionality of GeorgiaDirect to eliminate the burden of manual reporting by securely transferring patient and clinical information to public health agencies.
eCR benefits everyone involved in case reporting. It provides timely and more complete data than manual reporting and decreases the burden on both healthcare facilities and public health staff. There are currently more than 100 conditions that can be reported using eCR, including opioid overdose, foodborne illnesses and neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.
The eCR runs in the background of a GaHIN member’s EHR, capturing and reporting required information. That information is sent to GaHIN via secure direct messaging, then routed to the CDC and DPH once validated.