Electronic Reportable Lab Results (ELR)


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. The new HHS guidance will require the inclusion of 7 “ask on order entry” (AOE) questions. SC DHEC will be ready to accept these new data elements by August 1, 2020.

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 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).

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

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

  • Modified Stage 2 (2015 - 2017)
  • Beginning June 01, 2017, DHEC will begin accepting ELR messages for Stage 3 from Eligible Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals.  Stage 3 reporting will be optional in 2017.  Modified Stage 2 will be accepted through 2017.  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

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 .

This page last updated July 14, 2020


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