Electronic Reportable Lab Results (ELR)

ELR Overview

The electronic reporting of laboratory results fulfills South Carolina's notifiable disease reporting requirements.  Meaningful Use requirements do not preempt applicable state or local laws that govern reporting of notifiable conditions.

The Meaningful Use program offers an ELR Reporting measure under the Public Health Reporting objective.  The information must be sent in standardized formats that have been developed for sending health-related information between health care information systems.  Data submission and analysis is coordinated at the state health department (DHEC).

For COVID-19 results DHEC now offer two option, CSV via sFTP and HL7 via sFTP or PHINMS. The CSV reporting option does not meet the Meaningful Use reporting requirements.


On June 4, 2020 HHS released new guidance that specifies additional data elements that must be reported for all COVID-19 laboratory results to assure a rapid and thorough public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note that this guidance is an addition to reporting requirements already in place as defined by state and local laws. Many of the demographic data elements that are being required by HHS are already required by SC DHEC for ELR. Additionally, the requirement to report all COVID-19 laboratory results, including negative results, is already required by SC DHEC. Please refer to the SC DHEC Health Alert Network (HAN) regarding reporting of COVID-19 laboratory results. If facilities would like to include AOE questions, they should be in the NTE segment for now.

To learn more about these new requirements, please review the HHS guidance and visit the CDC webpage on how to report COVID-19 laboratory data. If you have any questions or would like to register to submit COVID-19 ELR messages, please contact us at muhelpdesk@dhec.sc.gov.

If you are already in production with ELR, please reach out to muhelpdesk@dhec.sc.gov to receive additional instructions on how to submit test messages for validation of these new fields

Please visit the CDC webpage for additional information about the AOE questions.                                  

ELR Reporting Criteria and Standards

DHEC currently accepts ELR messages from the following provider types:

  • Eligible Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals performing in-house testing of conditions found on the most recent SC List of Reportable Conditions
  • Reference laboratories
  • Clinics performing in-house and point-of-care testing
  • Third-party vendors reporting on behalf of testing facilities

DHEC currently accepts ELR messages for the following Meaningful Use stages:

  • DHEC accepts ELR messages for Stage 3 from Eligible Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals.  This declaration of readiness was made public on 02/06/2017.

DHEC currently accepts ELR messages in the following standard format:

  • HL7 v2.5.1 messages formatted in accordance with the HL7 v2.5.1 Implementation Guide: Electronic Laboratory Reporting to Public Health, Release 1
  • CSV formatting in accordance with the SC DHEC standard

Key Documents

The following documents provide guidance for health care organizations seeking to send ELR messages to DHEC.

For additional information or questions regarding the ELR reporting measure at DHEC, please send an email to muhelpdesk@dhec.sc.gov and for COVID-19 CSV reporting, please contact csv@DHEC.sc.gov.

This page last updated April 1st, 2021


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