Syndromic Surveillance-Meaningful Use

Submitting Syndromic Surveillance Data in Texas

Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), in collaboration with local health departments across Texas and with Tarrant County Public Health and Houston Health Department as data collection partners for Public Health Regions (PHRs) 2/3 and 6/5S, respectively, has established a statewide syndromic surveillance network.

The statewide syndromic surveillance system (Texas Syndromic Surveillance or TxS2) serves to help identify emerging health threats and inform local decision-making while protecting individuals’ privacy. Hospital partners electing to participate share data electronically with public health partners, which use the data to better understand and respond to a community’s health issues. Hospitals are able to use an advanced set of analytic tools to better understand their population.

TxS2 supports federal programs regarding the meaningful use of Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT) to improve patient care including the Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program and the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

All hospitals/hospital systems with emergency departments, free-standing emergency centers, and urgent care centers are eligible to participate in TxS2. More information about TxS2, including information for registering an intent to submit data, can be found on the TxS2 website.

Please note: during a transition period, hospitals that initiated syndromic surveillance under the former Texas Association of Local Health Officials (TALHO) program should continue to submit data to that system until their connections are transferred.

Declaration of Readiness for Meaningful Use

Consistent with federal guidelines regarding Stage 3 Meaningful Use, on June 30, 2016, DSHS declared readiness to receive data meeting the messaging requirements in the PHIN Messaging Guide for Syndromic Surveillance: Emergency Department, Urgent Care, Inpatient and Ambulatory Care Settings, Release 2.0 (April 2015) and the Erratum, available on the PHIN Messaging Guide web page, as referenced in the 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria, on and after January 1, 2017.

With respect to federal meaningful use programs, DSHS is only accepting registrations from hospitals/hospital systems with emergency departments, and professionals in urgent care centers or free-standing emergency centers at this time.

DSHS will not be connecting other data providers to TxS2 in 2018. DSHS did not operate a statewide syndromic surveillance system in 2013, 2014, or 2015.

Additional Information

Please retain a copy of this web page as documentation supporting the status of statewide syndromic surveillance by DSHS for any attestation you or your organization may make if you participate in either the Medicare or Medicaid EHR incentive payment programs.

If you have further questions about syndromic surveillance at DSHS, please contact syndromic.surveillance@dshs.texas.gov.

Questions about participating in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program should be directed to HealthIT@tmhp.com.

Additional information about participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program is on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website.

If you have other questions about meaningful use and public health, you may contact the DSHS Meaningful Use mailbox at MeaningfulUseTX@dshs.texas.gov.

Last updated March 22, 2018