October 14, 2021

How to Report COVID Results to Your State

We understand that COVID has changed our landscape and how we conduct our businesses. For healthcare centers, COVID has added…

We understand that COVID has changed our landscape and how we conduct our businesses. For healthcare centers, COVID has added many pressures, one of which is mandated reporting to state departments of health. 

As more and more people are utilizing rapid testing for COVID, we’ve seen an uptick in the amount of sites that are responsible to report results to the state.

The CDC has discussed the importance of reporting COVID results as a key in controlling and evaluating trends in infectious diseases.

What is state reporting?

State reporting for COVID is the first step in getting data on COVID prevalence from the lab to the federal government.

The Department of Human and Health Services (HHS) requires every testing site to report results (both positive and negative results) for every test it performs to detect SARS-CoV-2 or to diagnose a possible case of COVID-19. This guidance aims to increase the reporting of important data to inform contact tracing, control, and mitigation efforts.

Who needs to be reporting?

Essentially, everyone. The CARES Act requires that all COVID-19 testing sites must report their results to the state health department. The state then reports this data to the Department of Human and Health Services (HHS).

The CDC defines COVID-19 testing sites as:

  1. Labs that perform clinical diagnostic or screening testing under CLIA
  2. Non-lab COVID-19 diagnostic or screening testing locations
  3. Other facilities or locations offering COVID-19 point-of-care diagnostic or screening tests, or in-home diagnostic or screening tests

This means that if you’re testing for COVID in your site, you will need to report all results to the state. 

What needs to be reported?

The list for what needs to be reported includes 18 test/sample data elements (including test ordered, device details, and basic patient demographics) as well as an additional six patient identification fields. It’s a long and arduous process to ensure that all of these fields are entered correctly and sent on to the state. See the full list of fields to be reported here.

How do I report?

There are a few ways to report your COVID results:

1. Mail or fax results to the state

Some states accept results via fax or mail, but this is becoming less and less common as it is a huge hassle for both provider facilities and the state.

2. Direct online data entry

States give you the option to report by manually filling out the fields for each test result in their COVID reporting portal.

3. Batch online data submission

Test results can be reported by using the batch data entry method by submitting a .csv file that fulfills the provided requirements.

4. Automatic online data upload using middleware

By interfacing directly with a state’s Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR) middleware companies (such as us!) are able to create a seamless workflow where they don’t even need to think about how their results are getting to the state. 

Reporting to multiple states

The CDC requires that “facilities that conduct tests for individuals from multiple states must report results to the appropriate state or local health department based on the patient’s residence.” But don’t fret! Relaymed is able to take the data and automatically ensure it gets to the proper state. 

How can I make this process easier?

Relaymed has over 60 device interfaces to collect test results and over 20 EHR integrations to gather required patient demographic information for reporting purposes. Now, in addition to sending this information to your EHR, we can send a complete submission directly to public health agencies by utilizing their ELR interfaces.

With interfaces to devices for patient results, EHRs for patient demographics, and state ELRs for submission, Relaymed is able to create a full workflow for state reporting. By fully automating this process, Relaymed eliminates all opportunities for manual data entry errors from end to end.

Learn more about Relaymed’s State Reporting Module.

Further Reading

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