Electronic laboratory reporting in the USA: 2004 national snapshot survey

J. A. Magnuson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To capture an accurate picture of the current and planned future status of electronic laboratory reporting (ELR) in the USA during 2004. Design: Survey questionnaire. Setting: The survey was conducted on 50 state public health departments in the USA. Methods: A 22-question survey was developed and distributed to state public health departments. Survey topics included aspects of electronic laboratory reporting such as supported formats, transmission modes, security, data quality control, commercial off-the-shelf applications and data usage. Returned surveys were analysed and compiled into meaningful output formats. Results: 49 of the 50 states responded; of these 24 were currently implementing some degree of ELR and 24 were planning to implement ELR. At the time of the survey 45% of the states claimed to have laboratories reporting electronically, with one state having more than ten laboratories and one state having more than 100 laboratories. Only five states reported having an established quality control system in place. While a majority of states reported use of a state firewall, less than half of the states identified any other security measures as being utilised. More than half the respondents (57%) indicated that their ELR data were being utilised by state program areas. This figure was higher than the number of states who claimed to have ELR (45%). Conclusions: The study demonstrated that during 2004 almost all states inthe USA were either in the process of implementing or were planning to implement ELR. There were some discrepancies apparent in the reported data. These may be related to the nature of the questionnaire and will be addressed by improving the design of the questionnaire for the next annual survey.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-45
Number of pages15
JournalJournal on Information Technology in Healthcare
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 15 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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