NORSDirect

NORSDirect is a feature of the NORS that launched in 2015. It enables state, local, and territorial public health staff to upload electronic outbreak data into NORS.

NORSDirect has its own section within NORS where users can upload and manage electronic outbreak data.

Frequently Asked Questions

Reporting sites can send data using the Public Health Information Networking Messaging System (PHINMS) or by logging into NORSDirect and selecting a file to upload.

Report data are automatically checked for errors. If there are no errors, the report is saved in NORS. Errors are flagged so that they can be corrected before the report is saved in NORS.

NORSDirect allows multiple outbreak reports to be uploaded into NORS at once. The general flow of information into NORSDirect is as follows:

  1. Report data are downloaded or pulled from the reporting site’s outbreak database or data from a single outbreak are entered into a fillable PDF file.
  2. Any report data from multiple sources are combined into a single Excel or CSV file.
  3. File is uploaded to NORSDirect.
  4. Individual reports are extracted from the file and checked for errors.
  5. Reports without errors are saved to NORS.

Reporting site administrators (RSAs) and Agency Administrators can be assigned full access to NORSDirect in the User Management section of NORS. Many RSAs automatically received access when NORSDirect launched in 2015.

All users have access to the NORSDirect Home, Variables & Mapping, and Help pages.

Sites that use PHINMS decide who can send information to NORSDirect on behalf of their sites.

To view NORSDirect, log in to NORS. On the NORS Home screen, you should see a link to NORSDirect on the top menu bar. This will take you to the NORSDirect Home page.  For assistance with access, contact the CDC NORS team.

For detailed instructions on preparing and uploading a file to NORSDirect, please see the User Training Document for NORSDirect. Cdc-pdf[2 MB, 27 pages] This training document is also posted on the Help page within NORSDirect.

Here are four important things you need to know:

  1. Uploaded report data may overwrite or delete data in existing NORS reports. Deleted/overwritten data CANNOT be retrieved.
  2. If you upload a report that has the same StateID as an existing NORS report, you will overwrite the existing NORS report. NORSDirect matches outbreak reports to existing NORS records for your reporting site based on the StateID variable alone.
  3. Test files are a good way to learn how to use NORSDirect. All new users are strongly encouraged to submit at least one test file before uploading real outbreak data. Include a StateID that begins with “Test”, e.g. “Test_LTCF-155” and set the required field DateFirstIll to “1/1/1950” so that the report can be quickly identified. After uploading the file, check that the outbreak reports saved as expected, then delete the reports in NORS.
  4. The CDC NORS team is here to help! Contact NORSAdmin@cdc.gov for assistance, questions, and comments.

For detailed instructions on preparing and uploading a file to NORSDirect, please see the User Training Document for NORSDirect. Cdc-pdf[2 MB, 27 pages] This training document is also posted on the Help page within NORSDirect.

Here are six key things to remember:

  1. NORSDirect supports PDF, CSV, and Excel files up to 4 megabytes in size if uploading a file directly within the NORSDirect page, and up to 10 megabytes if using PHINMS.
  2. Every file must have five required variables for every report: StateID, ReportingState, PrimaryMode, DateFirstIll, EstimatedPrimary.
  3. Excel and CSV files should use the variable names found on the Variables & Mapping page. These should be in the first row. When there are multiple reports in the file, each variable has its own column, with one report per row.
  4. For PDF files, the most recent version of the fillable PDF form should be used. This can be downloaded from the NORSDirect Help Page.
  5. If splitting data across multiple worksheets in a single Excel workbook, repeat the StateID column once on each worksheet. Make sure that at least one worksheet in an Excel file has all five required variables.
  6. Your list values do not have to match NORS if you use the ‘Variables & Mapping’ page to map them to the list values used by NORS. This works best if set up before files are imported.

For detailed instructions on preparing and uploading a file to NORSDirect, please see the User Training Document for NORSDirect. Cdc-pdf[2 MB, 27 pages]  This training document is also posted on the Help page within NORSDirect.

The NORS team can also provide technical support for sites interested in implementing NORSDirect.

For further assistance, questions, or comments, please contact the CDC NORS Team.