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.