• PHID Contact Information
    • For questions on COVID-19 lab registration, onboarding, resubmitting corrections, and technical assistance please send email to 
      COVID-19ELR@dshs.texas.gov.

    • For general informatics or HL7 related questions, please contact 
      IDI@dshs.texas.gov.

CSV Submitter Resources

CSV FAQs   CSV Resources

NEDSS COVID-19 Laboratory Submitter Resources

This page is intended to serve as a resource page for facilities conducting in-house or on-site SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) testing who have already registered to report to NEDSS. Here you will find supplemental information to assist with the registration, testing, and onboarding. 

If your facility has not yet registered, please begin the  lab reporting registration process.

Lab Webinar Training

Updated COVID-19 Lab Reporting Requirements covering New 56 Column Template including Ask on Order Entry (AOE) Questions 

DSHS PHID recently held a webinar training update for facilities submitting lab data via CSV formatted template to DSHS. A link to access the video recording of that training is available below along with a copy of the presentation slides.

DSHS PHID video training resources are available at  https://www.gotostage.com/channel/dshsnedss-phid-trainings.
The content of these videos is outlined below.
Training added Date Description  Link Specific Topic Covered 
June 2021 Introduction to COVID-19 Lab Reporting via CSV • Onboarding  CSV 101
Feb 2021 Correcting CSV Validation Errors  • Automated Validation Error Email Training Overview
• Correcting Device Identifier Issues
• LOINC Overview
• Viewing Errors Using a Text File Reader
• Structural Issues: Viewing Data in Notepad
Dec 2020 Webinar Training on Updated 56 Column AOE Template   https://www.gotostage.com/channel/7e01723e07524cee9ff4728312463477

Related Handouts: 

Note for Facilities Assigned to Persivia: 
If your facility is currently assigned to Persivia, please continue to name your filename with the same file naming convention you have been using. 

What is NEDSS and what is its significance to the COVID-19 response? 

The  Texas National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS) is the primary system utilized by public health epidemiologists and surveillance staff across Texas to monitor and respond to most  notifiable infectious disease conditions. Since 2004, NEDSS has played a critical role in preventing the further transmission of infectious diseases in Texas. It serves as the primary system for processing and distributing electronic laboratory reports (ELRs) which trigger public health investigations of notifiable disease conditions. Public health epidemiologists and surveillance staff routinely conduct disease investigations based on ELRs assigned to their area through NEDSS. The purpose of disease investigations is to identify cases, assess their close contacts, apply mitigation efforts, and reduce further spread of the disease. Public health staff capture results of those investigations in NEDSS and utilize the data to identify and monitor disease trends in their communities. The data captured through investigations also helps to identify vulnerable populations, pockets of need, and changes in disease epidemiology.  

NEDSS data is utilized to feed the DSHS dashboards available to the public. This data helps public health leadership to effectively monitor and respond to the ongoing pandemic situation. 

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What are the two options for COVID-19 electronic lab reporting to NEDSS? 

There are two options for reporting COVID-19 ELRs to NEDSS: 

  1. Health Level 7 International (HL7) standardized message format, or 
  2. Texas alternative comma separated value (.CSV) standardized message format compliant with rules outlined in DSHS COVID-19 data dictionary. 

Facilities reporting via the Texas CSV approved template can utilize resources listed here to assist in the registration, testing, and onboarding process. Submitters should follow all instructions as received from DSHS after registration and may use information presented here as supplementary information. 

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COVID-19 Reporting Guidelines for Submission by CSV Template 

This guide was designed to assist facilities with the registration, testing/validation, and onboarding process for reporting COVID-19 labs to DSHS. This guide is specifically developed for facilities who submit their results via the DSHS approved comma separated value (CSV) template. Facilities who are unable to submit via HL7 standard should submit via the CSV template. 

Download the entire guide: 

For quick access to shortened instructions from the guide, please see the links provided below: 

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COVID-19 Reporting CSV Template and Data Dictionary (Updated 12/11/20) 

The templates listed below are issued to facilities after completing registration. Facilities who have not registered yet may review the templates listed below to understand data submission formatting and data requirements. However, facilities who have not had their registration confirmed by DSHS are NOT authorized to submit these templates until approved to do so. 

  • 56_Column_AOE_Clean_Template.CSV 
    This is the file format with the column headers for the 56 columns/variables of lab data required to be submitted to DSHS.  
    Submitters must adhere to the exact column order. Do not include additional columns and do not omit columns—these scenarios may cause the entire file to be rejected. 
  • 56_Column_AOE_Data_Dictionary.XLSX 
    This data dictionary provides details on requirements for each of the required 56 columns/variables. It’s important to note the field listing permitted response options and the required formatting for each variable. If a submitted file does not conform to the data dictionary, the file may be rejected. 

Registered facilities who need assistance or have other questions may email  COVID-19ELR@dshs.texas.gov.   

Last updated August 30, 2021