Every week, our disease detectives in the Bureau of Epidemiology and Disease Control send data to our national partners at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Data from Arizona and other states is compiled to provide an overall picture of the nation’s health. Since it is a weekly process, the data that is published may be delayed, so there is a big push to have states send data at a faster rate by using daily transmissions of Health Level 7 (HL7) case notification messages. HL7 is a group that help health providers exchange and retrieve important medical information.

The Tuberculosis (TB) Control Program, the Medical Electronic Disease Surveillance Intelligence System, known as the MEDSIS Program, and our Information Technology Services (ITS) partners have been collaborating to develop HL7 case notifications specific to TB directly from MEDSIS, the electronic surveillance system used to track and manage Arizona’s TB cases. The notifications are built based on national guidance from CDC and must be thoroughly reviewed and validated before they can be accepted into CDC’s databases. Once in the proper format and accepted into CDC’s TB database, Arizona’s data can be used to develop TB surveillance tools such as the recent ‘Reported Tuberculosis in the United States, 2015’ national surveillance report.

After several rounds of development and validation, the first production TB case notifications were electronically sent to, and accepted by, CDC on December 22, 2016! Congratulations to all of our programs for this incredible achievement!