Technical Updates

NSSP Conducts Ad Hoc Onboarding Window

Following outreach and onboarding activities with several new and expanding sites, the NSSP onboarding team set up an ad hoc Summer 2021 New Site Onboarding window. Participation was excellent and included U.S. territories Puerto Rico and Northern Mariana Islands; Iowa; Contra Costa County, CA; and Santa Clara County, CA. Several recently onboarded and existing sites participated, including Hawaii; Minnesota; Monterey County, CA; and South Dakota.

If you’re new to NSSP or would like a refresher on data flow, Access & Management Center (AMC) and ESSENCE basics, or other NSSP topics, the Fall 2020 New Site Onboarding webinars are available on the NSSP Community of Practice Knowledge Repository:

NSSP’s onboarding guides and job aids are available in the Technical Resource Center.

Onboarding is a Collaborative Process
masked coworkers in office

The NSSP onboarding team will work with your health department, facility, vendor for electronic health records (EHR) or heath information exchange (HIE) to transmit syndromic surveillance data from internal medical record systems to the NSSP Biosense Platform. If you represent an HIE, EHR vendor, or hospital and want to participate in the NSSP, please contact

If you’re already an NSSP participant and need onboarding assistance, please contact the Service Desk.

New NSSP Data Dictionary Available

Version 40 of the NSSP Data Dictionary is available on the NSSP Technical Publications and Standards website. This version contains several minor changes:

  • Added new LOINC codes to the ArchivedProcessed tab for Body_Mass_Index and Str_ Body_Mass_Index.
  • Added new ESSENCE Data Elements for C_Race and C_Ethnicity and updated calculation descriptions for DischargeDiagnosis, as noted in both the ESSENCE and ESSENCE API and Data Details tabs.
  • Added a new non-informative chief complaint (NICC) string called “follow-up” to the NICC Terms tab.
Resources for Hurricanes and Severe Weather

If you missed last month’s technical update, the hurricane preparedness article and resources have been archived. The article includes NSSP’s standard operating procedures before, during, and after a hurricane or other emergency response and describes how NSSP can help you fill technical gaps by connecting with others who have the expertise you seek.

The resources include a Before-the-Response Checklist and links to the NSSP Severe Weather Dashboard, examples of state-developed materials, and other hurricane preparedness materials.

Shown to the right is the County Health Department Epidemiology Hurricane Toolkit, provided by the Florida Department of Health. This flexible toolkit can be used in response to hurricanes, wildfires, flooding, tornadoes, and other natural disasters.