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Implementing a Web‐Based Case Reporting and Communication System Among Hospitals Reporting to the Birth Defects Registry in New York State

Steen, Patricia M. BS; Wang, Ying PhD; Tao, Zhen MD, PhD; Cross, Philip K. BS; Druschel, Charlotte M. MD

Journal of Public Health Management & Practice: November/December 2008 - Volume 14 - Issue 6 - p E11–E16
doi: 10.1097/01.PHH.0000338378.91360.83
Original Article

Background: The ability to use the Internet as a reporting tool has created important and timely changes in the way registries all over the world can collect data. This article provides a detailed description of the implementation that converted reporting hospitals in New York State from a manual, paper-based reporting system to an electronic, Web-based case reporting and communication system. The system usage was analyzed and the results are presented.

Methods: The implementation process of the Web-based reporting and communication system included several steps: system introduction and orientation, system pilot testing, statewide campaign for implementation on a voluntary basis, statewide campaign for implementation on a mandatory basis, and system support and training.

Results: The highly secure, user-friendly Web-based system was well perceived and accepted by the majority of the reporting hospitals and thus implemented for all reporting hospitals within a reasonable time frame. Currently, three fourths (115) of the reporting hospitals are using the on-line data entry method to submit reports, and one fourth (38) of hospitals are using the file upload method. Between July 2006 and June 2007, Congenital Malformations Registry staff had sent queries to 94 hospitals using the Web-based communication tools to request further information on the reported cases and more than half of these hospitals responded within 1 month.

Conclusions: Successful implementation of the Web-based reporting and communication system required an effective implementation plan (including adequate training of users) and active interaction and cooperation between the Congenital Malformations Registry and the medical records personnel of the reporting hospitals.

Patricia M. Steen, BS, is Research Scientist with the Congenital Malformations Registry, Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology, Center for Environmental Health, New York State Department of Health.

Ying Wang, PhD, is Research Scientist with the Congenital Malformations Registry, Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology, Center for Environmental Health, New York State Department of Health, and Assistant Professor with School of Public Health, New York State University at Albany.

Zhen Tao, MD, PhD, is Associate Computer Programmer with the Congenital Malformations Registry, Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology, Center for Environmental Health, New York State Department of Health.

Philip K. Cross, BS, is Director of the Congenital Malformations Registry, Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology, Center for Environmental Health, New York State Department of Health.

Charlotte M. Druschel, MD, is Medical Director, Congenital Malformations Registry, Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology, Center for Environmental Health, New York State Department of Health, and Assistant Professor with School of Public Health, New York State University at Albany.

Corresponding Author: Ying Wang, MPH, PhD, Congenital Malformations Registry, Bureau of Environmental & Occupational Epidemiology, Center for Environmental Health, New York State Department of Health, Flanigan Square, 547 River St, Troy, NY 12180 (wxy01@health.state.ny.us).

This project was supported in part by the Environmental Public Health Tracking grant #15032301, funded by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The authors thank the March of Dimes for providing support in organizing and sponsoring the regional meetings.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.