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Journal of Public Health Management & Practice:
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e318200f8da
Original Article

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

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Abstract

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.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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