Why is eCR important?

Starting in January 2022, eCR will be required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Promoting Interoperability Program for hospitals and critical access hospitals.

Electronic case reporting (eCR) eliminates the burden of manual reporting on healthcare providers. It securely transfers patient and clinical information from healthcare to public health for disease tracking, case management, and contact tracing.

There are currently more than 100 conditionspdf iconexternal icon that can be reported using eCR. They include infectious diseases such as COVID-19, foodborne illnesses such as E. coli, and noninfectious conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.

As part of the case surveillance process, healthcare providers are required to submit information about possible reportable conditions to state, tribal, local, and territorial public health agencies. eCR data are also the basis for what is shared with CDC (without identifiable information). This is vital for nationwide public health surveillance.

eCR enables immediate feedback from public health to healthcare about reportable conditions and possible outbreaks. This real-time exchange of information is critical during public health emergencies.

eCR provides faster, more complete data than manual reporting, including patient and clinical data on demographics, comorbidities, immunizations, medications, and other treatment.

What are the benefits of eCR?

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

For Public Health Agencies
  • Provides timely and complete data to support outbreak management and monitor disease trends
  • Efficiently monitors the spread of reportable diseases during outbreaks and public health emergencies
  • Reduces response time with automated information
  • Improves communication and collaboration with healthcare by enabling bidirectional data exchange
  • Supports submission of case-based data (without identifiable information) to CDC through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System.
For Healthcare Providers
  • Reduces burden for healthcare providers without disrupting the clinical workflow
  • Saves time by eliminating manual data entry and reporting
  • Can fulfill legal reporting requirements
  • Provides real-time reports to public health officials to guide the state, tribal, local, and territorial response to public health threats
  • Facilitates communication and collaboration between healthcare and public health
  • Streamlines reporting to multiple jurisdictions
  • Receives information from public health associated with the reportable condition
  • Can be implemented for all reportable conditions

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: October 14, 2021