Validate is the third of four onboarding phases for the National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP). Onboarding is a collaborative process in which the NSSP and site teams work with a facility, health department, electronic health records (EHR) vendor, or health information exchange (HIE) to transmit syndromic data from medical record systems to the NSSP BioSense Platform.

The “STEPS TO VALIDATE” job aid will guide the site administrator and feed administrator through activities that must be completed before connecting to the BioSense Platform production environment. Before proceeding with the Validate phase, make sure your facility successfully submitted a “Hello World” test message to confirm feed connectivity (see “STEPS TO CONNECT” job aid). Sometimes the site administrator will oversee the feed administrator’s tasks.

Job aids are available for planning and onboarding. Use these job aids with each other and the New Site Onboarding Guide for the BioSense Platformpdf icon, hereafter referred to as Onboarding Guide.

Onboarding Steps Validate


STEP 1: Verify that file format and naming conventions are valid (see Onboarding Guide, Section 4.4, “File Format and Naming Conventions”). Each feed must submit a valid test message to the BioSense Platform. Files uploaded to the BioSense Platform cannot be processed unless file format and naming convention are valid.

  • Log in to your feed’s account in Staging using WinSCP or FileZilla.
  • Upload a valid message with the correct file name convention and correct batch and message structure.

STEP 2: For each feed, set up a schedule for batch transmissions:

  • Transmit in 15- to 60-minute increments (preferred); or
  • Transmit at least once every 24 hours.

STEP 3: Review data. Make sure data being sent contain the MINIMUM required personally identifiable information (PII) and that data elements are mapped correctly.

STEP 4: Submit data for validation.

STEP 5: Do facility data meet NSSP-required minimums for validity and complete?
  • Priority 1 data elements for NSSP onboarding to production should meet 80% threshold.
  • Priority 2 data elements should meet threshold within 12 months of completing onboarding to production.

Until the SAS Staging Data-Quality-on-Demand tool is released, please contact the NSSP onboarding team to obtain data quality reports.

STEP 5: Request data validation through the site onboarding coordinator.
STEP 6: Do facility data meet site-specified minimums? STEP 6: Correct reported HL7 issues, if applicable. Resubmit corrected data for validation.
STEP 7: As needed, work with facility to fix HL7 issues and resubmit corrected data. STEP 7: Once NSSP approves the facility for production, work with the site administrator to configure the feed to point to the production environment and proceed with live data flow.
STEP 8: Site Sign-Off: For help with data validation and production sign-off, contact the NSSP Service Desk.
  • Final sign-off from onboarding team is required before proceeding with facility activation.
  • The onboarding team will validate data and provide results to the site administrator.
STEP 9: Facility Activation: Once data meet NSSP and site-required minimums for onboarding:
  • Update Facility Status to “Active” in the Master Facility Table (MFT). This prepares the facility to receive data in the production environment.
  • Check request status. The onboarding team will run a final validation on data and either (1) approve activation request or (2) decline activation request and return rejected info to site for review.
STEP 10: Once the facility is approved for activation in MFT, work with the feed administrator and onboarding team to configure feed to point to production environment. Proceed with live data flow.
Page last reviewed: September 23, 2021