Integrated Surveillance Information Systems/NEDSS

Integrated surveillance information systems in public health departments are primary sources of data for the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS). These systems are based on the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS) architectural standards. By encouraging the use of and helping to support standards-based public health surveillance systems, NEDSS helps public health agencies accept electronic data exchanges from healthcare systems and enables health departments to create and send standards-based case notifications to CDC for NNDSS. Currently, jurisdictions can send case notifications by using different standards; the CDC NNDSS Modernization Initiative is working to provide a single, new standard to transmit data to CDC.

NEDSS helps connect the healthcare system to public health departments and those health departments to CDC by

  • providing leadership and resources to state and local health departments to adopt standards-based systems needed to support national disease surveillance strategy;
  • defining the content (i.e., disease diagnosis, risk factor information, lab confirmation results, and patient demographics) of messages sent using the HL7 messaging standard;
  • implementing content standards that the healthcare industry currently uses (for example, LOINC as the standard for transmitting laboratory test names and SNOMED as the standard for transmitting test results) for increased interoperability between public health departments and the healthcare industry; and
  • providing the NEDSS Base System (NBS), a CDC-developed information system, to help reporting jurisdictions manage reportable disease data and send notifiable diseases data to CDC. For more information about NBS, please access the NBS web site at

Today, all 50 states and Washington, D.C., use NEDSS-compatible integrated surveillance information systems to send case notifications to NNDSS.  To be considered NEDSS compatible, states must have information systems meeting these requirements:

  • disease data entry directly through an Internet browser-based system, thereby creating a database accessible by health investigators and public health professionals,
  • electronic laboratory reporting that enables labs to report cases to health departments,
  • integration of multiple health information databases into a single repository, and
  • electronic messaging capabilities, enabling states to share information efficiently with CDC and other health agencies.