Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Findings from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists' 2008 Assessment of State Reportable and Nationally Notifiable Conditions in the United States and Considerations for the Future

Jajosky, Ruth DMD, MPH; Rey, Araceli RN, MPH, CDR (USPHS); Park, Meeyoung MPH; Aranas, Aaron MPH; Macdonald, Steven PhD, MPH; Ferland, Lisa MPH

Journal of Public Health Management & Practice: May/June 2011 - Volume 17 - Issue 3 - p 255–264
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e318200f8da
Original Article

Context: The State Reportable Conditions Assessment (SRCA) is an annual assessment of reporting requirements for reportable public health conditions. The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have gained valuable experience in developing a centralized repository of information about reportable conditions across US states and territories.

Objective: This study examines the reporting status in states of nationally notifiable conditions used to inform public health and national surveillance initiatives.

Design: Conditions included in SRCA are updated annually by using a Web-based tool created by the CSTE.

Setting: SRCA information for 2008 was reported from all US states, 2 cities, and 4 territories.

Participants: Respondents included state or territorial epidemiologists (or designees) for reporting jurisdictions.

Main Outcome Measure: Conditions were classified as explicitly reportable, implicitly reportable, or not reportable. Results were tabulated to determine reporting statistics for the conditions nationwide.

Results: The SRCA included 101 conditions recommended for national notification: 93 (92%) were infectious conditions, and 8 (8%) were other (noninfectious or crosscutting) conditions. Of nationally notifiable infectious conditions, 61 (66%) were explicitly reportable in 90% or more jurisdictions; only 2 (25%) noninfectious or crosscutting nationally notifiable conditions were explicitly reportable in 90% or more jurisdictions. Furthermore, 3 nationally notifiable infectious conditions were explicitly reportable in less than 70% of jurisdictions.

Conclusions: Although most nationally notifiable conditions were explicitly reportable, we found that many of these conditions have implicit reporting authority in states. As notifiable condition surveillance moves toward an informatics-driven approach, automated electronic case-detection systems will need explicit information about what conditions are reportable. Future work should address the feasibility of standardizing the format of reportable disease lists and nomenclature used to facilitate data aggregation and interpretation across states.

This study examines the reporting status in states of nationally notifiable conditions used to inform public health and national surveillance initiatives.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (Dr Jajosky and Mr Aranas), McKing Consulting (Ms Park), and Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (Ms Ferland), Atlanta, Georgia; CDC, Austin, Texas (Ms Rey); and Washington State Department of Health, Environmental Epidemiology Unit, Olympia (Dr Macdonald).

Correspondence: Ruth Jajosky, DMD, MPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd, Mail Stop E-91, Atlanta, GA 30333 (raj3@cdc.gov).

We thank the CDC's Diana Onweh for providing analytical programming services for the State Reportable Conditions Assessment (SRCA). We also thank CSTE Executive Director, Patrick McConnon, for funding the SRCA project and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists Surveillance Coordination Group for providing leadership during implementation of SRCA. We are grateful to the US state epidemiologists for providing data and supporting the SRCA initiative.

This publication was supported by the CDC's Cooperative Agreement No. U60/CCU07277. The findings and conclusions found in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the CDC.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.