Features and Benefits

NBS facilitates the adoption of national consensus standards used across public health and healthcare—including vocabulary standards such as LOINC, SNOMED, and RXNORM and messaging standards such as HL7—and helps local, state, and territorial public health departments use standards when sending information to CDC about notifiable diseases and conditions.

Features of NBS

  • a patient-centric model that allows all public health events for a patient to be viewed from one central location;
  • role-based security by program area and jurisdiction;
  • support for more than 140 different diseases and conditions, including hepatitis, general communicable diseases, vaccine-preventable diseases, meningitis, and tuberculosis;
  • ability to add new conditions as needed, as well as to create data collection forms through a user interface without system development by using Page Builder functionality.
  • Page Builder module for design of data collection forms on the fly as surveillance needs change and new diseases of public health significance are identified;
  • automated receipt of electronic laboratory reports (ELR);
  • automated receipt of electronic case reports from healthcare providers, other health information systems, and other public health jurisdictions;
  • user-customizable decision support functionality for automated processing of ELRs and electronically received public health case reports;
  • workflows to support the surveillance and follow-up processes used during public health investigations;
  • contact tracing;
  • reporting module to extract data for analysis, visualization, and reporting;
  • near real-time case reporting to CDC; and
  • patient deduplication.

Benefits for Public Health Jurisdictions

  • reduction in communicable disease reporting time;
  • increase in the number of laboratory reports received by public health;
  • improved communication among local, state, and federal public health staff, delivering the right information to the right person at the right time;
  • ability to push data entry back to the source to reduce reporting time and data transcription errors while improving data quality;
  • reduction in paper-based reporting; and
  • robust reporting module with flattened data marts.

NBS has been built as a long-term system to meet the changing needs of jurisdictions. Each jurisdiction has unique requirements for a public health surveillance system, but all need a system that is:

  • standards-based,
  • interoperable,
  • configurable,
  • extensible, and
  • collaborative.

NBS helps jurisdictions meet their public health surveillance needs by:

  • facilitating local and state public health department collaboration;
  • providing an integrated data repository, which is a hub for public health surveillance;
  • reducing the data entry burden on public health professionals;
  • providing customizable tools such as easily configurable electronic disease data collection forms to quickly respond to emerging diseases;
  • reducing the need to support multiple, siloed systems;
  • connecting state and local public health departments to laboratories, healthcare providers, and national public health;
  • providing a system that combines technology, standards, public health policy, and disease surveillance; and
  • shifting from paper to electronic data exchanges.
Page last reviewed: November 13, 2020