Arkansas Uses NBS for Communicable Disease Surveillance and Reporting to Track Non-traditional Reportable Conditions


Carl Long
NBS Operations Manager
Epidemiology Branch
Arkansas Department of Health

“Arkansas has been using the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS) Base System (NBS) for most of our communicable disease surveillance and reporting since 2009. We have even started using NBS for tracking of non-traditional reportable conditions.Because the application and product support is provided by CDC at no cost, NBS offers a very cost-effective, NEDSS-compliant surveillance system for public health agencies.

The built-in HL7 messaging functionality allows us to send and receive electronic messages by using up-to-date standards. Plus, the Page Builder functionality allows us to easily customize data entry screens to meet our surveillance needs.

We have approximately 375 NBS users. Of this number, about 8–10 are epidemiologists and the rest are public health nurses or clerks. Arkansas has the advantage of having all of the local public health offices as part of the state health department, which makes NBS administration easier because everyone is under the same organizational umbrella.”