NBS Terminology

What to know

To help navigate the system more easily, here are some commonly used NBS terms and their definitions, listed in alphabetical order.


Custom Report: A report that is similar to a query allowing the user to select which data elements (columns) are to be output.

ELR Activity Log: The ELR Activity Log provides information on the transfer of lab results into the NEDSS Base System. This information enables action to be taken to resolve outstanding issues with lab result transfers, either through re-transmission of the data from the source or by manually adding a lab result.

File: View of Patient's information: contains demographics, observations, investigations, and vaccination records if they exist.

Investigation: Information regarding one incidence of a disease. The generic form is used for all diseases that are not included in a PAM (Program Area Module).

Investigation Questions: Information contained within an investigation, often interpretive in nature (e.g.: Rash Onset Date). The generic form includes questions categorized in the following sections: Investigation Summary, Reporting Source, Clinical, Epidemiological, and Administrative. The PAM diseases (e.g.: Hepatitis) contain these questions or a subset along with disease specific questions.

Manage Observations: Act of associating or disassociating an observation with an investigation. An observation is associated with an investigation when its content represents information related to the investigation. Observations may exist in a person's file unrelated to any investigation, or related to one or more.

My Report List: The list of reports created by the user, could include both private and public reports.

Notification: Nationally Notifiable Disease Message sent to the CDC from the state. Contains the investigation data and all associated observations and vaccinations for each case of a disease.

Organization: Record type that represents information for hospitals, reporting sources, etc.

Observation: These reports come in to the Health Department from a reporting source. They often trigger the start of a public health case investigation or complement it.

  • Lab Report – originates from a lab in either paper or electronic format, contains lab order and results
  • Morbidity Report – originates from health care provider (e.g.: hospital, doctor's office) and contains basic data regarding one instance of a disease. Comes in to Health Department from a paper report or means other than electronic message

Page Builder: Page Builder functionality gives users the ability to build highly configurable forms to collect, analyze, and send notifications for disease/condition data.

Permission Set: A permission set is a collection of objects and operations the user can access (e.g.: Add a Person). NBS Release 1.0 will be delivered with eight default permission sets. The system will restrict user access to only those screens and functions corresponding to the objects and operations that the user has permission to use, as defined by the user's permission set. There are two access levels defined in a permission set, user and guest. For all of the system delivered permission sets, guests have read only privileges. Additional permission sets can be created for different guest privileges.

Person: Record type that represents information for subjects/patients, physicians, reporters, etc.

Place: Record type introduced with STD/HIV module to collect information on locations that patients frequent for either drug use or sex.

Program Area Module (PAM): These are additions to the system designed to accommodate disease specific functionality or data gathering beyond what is provided in the Base System.

Public Report List: The list of reports shared among users. Can include standard and individually created reports.

Reporting Database / Data Mart: A flattened, simplified view of the database tables. Reports are run from these tables rather than the ODS (Operational Data Store) to provide easier access to data and faster processing times. The NBS comes with a user interface to access this Data Mart, but users may also use their own tools (SAS, etc.) for more detailed reporting.

Role: When a user is assigned a permission set, the user will also be assigned the appropriate Program Area(s), Jurisdiction(s), and access level (user or guest). This combination of Permission Set, Program Area, Jurisdiction and Guest Indicator is referred to as a user's Role. A user may have several roles.

Standard Report: A report that is delivered as part of NEDSS Base System.

Summary Report: While some conditions such as Measles and Hepatitis require detailed reporting at an individual case level, other conditions may be reported in aggregate format. Summary data provides for weekly counts of certain conditions.

Transfer Ownership: Act of changing ownership of an observation or investigation from one jurisdiction and/or program area to another. The program area/jurisdiction owners are responsible for investigating and resolving any tasks associated with the information. Ownership determines visibility through Security.

Vaccination Record: Information related to the administering of a vaccine (e.g.: Mfr, Lot #, Date Administered).