Why is eCR important?

Electronic case reporting (eCR) eliminates the burden of manual reporting on providers of care. It securely transfers critical clinical information from healthcare to public health agencies for disease tracking, case management, and contact tracing. eCR provides more timely and complete data than manual case reporting. The bidirectional exchange of information from public health to providers of care is faster, and comprehensive reporting includes patient and clinical data on demographics, comorbidities, immunizations, medications, and other treatments.

There are more than 99 diseases and conditions that are reportable to any given public health jurisdiction. They include infectious diseases such as COVID-19, foodborne illnesses such as E. coli, and noninfectious conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.

The fast, accurate, and reliable data allows agencies to respond quickly to public health threats in their communities. eCR enables immediate feedback from public health agencies to healthcare about reportable conditions and possible outbreaks, which is especially critical during public health emergencies.

Public health jurisdictions require healthcare providers to submit information of possible reportable conditions to state and local public health agencies. Data transmitted in electronic case reports are also the basis for anonymized notifiable disease reporting to CDC, which is vital for nationwide public health surveillance.

What are the benefits of eCR?

eCR benefits everyone involved in case reporting. It provides timely and more complete data and decreases the burden on both healthcare facilities and public health staff.

For Public Health Agencies
  • Provides more timely and complete data to support outbreak management and monitor disease trends
  • Efficiently monitors the spread of reportable diseases like COVID-19 during outbreaks and public health emergencies
  • Reduces response time with automated information
  • Improves communication and collaboration with healthcare by enabling bidirectional data exchange
  • Case reporting supports submission of anonymized case-based data to CDC from state and local public health agencies through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System.
For Healthcare Providers
  • Reduces the burden of reporting to public health by healthcare professionals, staff, and facilities without disrupting the clinical workflow
  • Helps eliminate manual reporting
  • Accommodates reporting across jurisdictions based on state or local regulations
  • Receives information back from public health associated with the reportable condition
  • Can fulfill legal reporting requirements
  • Improves COVID-19 reporting immediately and allows expansion to all reportable conditions
  • Offers credit through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Promoting Interoperability Programpdf iconexternal icon
  • Connects in real time with public health agencies

eCR is a key component of CDC’s Public Health Data Modernization Initiative to modernize and accelerate electronic data reporting capabilities in the United States.

Interested in learning more?

Contact CDC’s eCR team at ecr@cdc.gov.
Get more information about eCR and how to implement at APHL: What is eCR?external icon

Page last reviewed: March 4, 2021