Estimating Increased Electronic Laboratory Reporting Volumes for Meaningful Use: Implications for the Public Health Workforce

Brian E Dixon, P Joseph Gibson, Shaun J Grannis


Objective: To provide formulas for estimating notifiable disease reporting volume from ‘meaningful use’ electronic laboratory reporting (ELR).

Methods: We analyzed two years of comprehensive ELR reporting data from 15 metropolitan hospitals and laboratories. Report volumes were divided by population counts to derive generalizable estimators.

Results: Observed volume of notifiable disease reports in a metropolitan area were more than twice national averages. ELR volumes varied by institution type, bed count, and by the level of effort required of health department staff.

Conclusions: Health departments may experience a significant increase in notifiable disease reporting following efforts to fulfill meaningful use requirements, resulting in increases in workload that may further strain public health resources. Volume estimators provide a method for predicting ELR transaction volumes, which may support administrative planning in health departments.

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Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 *