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Electronic Laboratory Reporting Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) accepting ELR data for Meaningful Use?

Yes, ADH accepts ELR messages from organizations seeking to fulfill their Meaningful Use public health requirement. For more information, please visit the ELR Meaningful Use webpage.

2. Which entities in Arkansas should submit ELR messages during Meaningful Use Stage 1 and Stage 2? 

ELR data is accepted from eligible hospitals.

If you are interested in reporting data to ADH, please complete the registration form.

3. What is Electronic Lab Reporting, and how will Meaningful Use reporting improve public health capability to monitor the health of Arkansas?

Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR) is the electronic transmission from laboratories to public health of laboratory reports which identify reportable conditions.

ELR has many benefits, including improved timeliness, reduction of manual data entry errors, and reports that are more complete. Electronic Laboratory Reporting has been promoted as a public health priority for the past several years and its inclusion as a meaningful use objective for public health serves as a catalyst to accelerate its adoption.

We anticipate that the expanded set of data elements collected through Meaningful Use will improve public health capability to detect, characterize, and track events of public health significance.

4. For which conditions do I send ELR data?

For additional guidance on what data should be included in a ELR message, please view the current ELR messaging standards.

5. Our facility is currently sending ELR data to public health. Does this reporting meet the Meaningful Use criteria?

While we appreciate our early adopters who began providing data to public health prior to Meaningful Use, this does not meet Meaningful Use requirements.

In order to satisfy these criteria, an expanded set of data must be sent from an Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) certified Electronic Health Record system to the Arkansas Department of Health using an HL7 2.5.1 message format. HL7 2.5.1 is preferred for Stage 1 and is required for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use.

ADH accepts ELR messages from organizations seeking to fulfill their Meaningful Use public health requirement. For more information about sending Meaningful Use compliant ELR data, please visit ELR Meaningful Use webpage.

6. What are current standards and guidelines for submitting ELR data?

You can find links to the current ELR messaging standards on our on-boarding pages. These guides serve as a reference for emergency departments and urgent care centers.

7. I am a vendor representing several clinics (or facilities). Do we need to complete the on-boarding process for each clinic or facility that we represent?

Yes, the on-boarding process must be completed by (or on behalf of) each entity attesting for Meaningful Use. For more information about how to handle healthcare organizations with multiple facilities or clinics with multiple providers, please refer to the next two questions.

8. Our healthcare organization consists of multiple clinics and/or hospitals. Does each of our clinics and/or hospitals need to complete the on-boarding process (e.g. submit an enrollment form and test message) for Meaningful Use?

If all data for your organization is centralized AND ELR messages will be generated centrally for all entities in your organization, you only need to complete the on-boarding process once.

In this situation, ADH will require supplemental information (e.g. name, physical address, NPI) be provided for each clinic or hospital that will be included in your organization’s data feed.

If data from your organization is not held centrally, you can proceed through the initial on-boarding process as though the data are centralized, if:

  • All sites are using the SAME implementation of a single certified electronic health record (EHR) system, AND
  • Variability has not been introduced into the EHR systems as a result of differences in business practices at each site.

ADH will need to test the individual transport mechanism from each site that will be generating and sending ELR messages.

The on-boarding process needs to be completed for each site, if:

  • Data from your organization are not held centrally, AND
  • The EHR system has been modified, or different EHR systems are in use, at one or more sites.

This helps ensure the appropriate level of validation will be conducted.

It is not necessary to complete this process for each individual provider in your organization.

We anticipate there are many scenarios we have not addressed here. If you are still not sure what to do, please contact ADH.ELR.MU@arkansas.gov  for additional assistance.

9. Will we be able to complete the on-boarding process during our 90-day reporting period?

The Arkansas Department of Health cannot promise you will be able to complete the on-boarding process during your 90-day reporting period, but you will improve chances of success if you start the process as early as possible (i.e. before the 90-day window begins).

ADH uses a queue system for those interested in submitting ELR data for Meaningful Use. Eligible hospitals must complete steps 1-3 of the on-boarding process to be placed in the queue. Placement in the queue meets the Stage 1 Meaningful Use attestation requirements. Stage 2 will proceed with the remaining steps until production.

10. Will we be notified by the Arkansas Department of Health that we have completed the necessary on-boarding steps required for attestation?

Once you have successfully completed steps 1-3 of the on-boarding process, Arkansas Department of Health will send you a letter via email indicating your placement into the queue. Placement into the queue meets Stage 1 Meaningful Use attestation requirements.

11. How do I get started?

Please see the ELR On-Boarding Process.