Phase 2: New Site Steps to Connect

A CDC job aid to support site administrators


Connect is the second of four onboarding phases for the NSSP BioSense Platform. This guide takes site administrators through key steps.

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The process

This content is part of a series of online job aids related to onboarding. These resources are meant to be used together along with New Site Onboarding — The Complete Guide.

Download this job aid: Phase 2: New Site Steps to Connect

This guide will walk the site administrator through activities that must be completed before data can be validated. Use this information to configure facility feeds for the first time. Make sure local support is available to establish feed connection.

Graphic showing onboarding phases
During the Connect phase, facility feeds are configured for the first time.

STEP 1: Check with your organization to find out if HL7® data1 integration tools (e.g., Rhapsody and Mirth) are available. Both have SFTP capabilities and can be configured for data uploads.

STEP 2: Confirm desired upload technology. These are acceptable methods to connect to NSSP:

  • SFTP (preferred)
  • PHINMS (only for public health agencies and facilities with PHINMS installations that currently send data to and receive data from CDC or other PHINMS partner)

When choosing between SFTP and PHINMS, consider the following:

  • Is local support available?
  • Is permission required to install SFTP or PHINMS?
  • Will firewall rules be affected?
    • SFTP: Outbound port 22
    • PHINMS: Outbound port 443

Connection method can vary if working with an HIE or other nonstandard method. Please contact the NSSP onboarding team for assistance.

STEP 3: Request feed setup and connection. For assistance, contact the NSSP Service Desk. Request one of the following:

  • New-feed setup and SSH key pair for feed authentication, OR
  • New-feed setup via PHINMS authentication.

STEP 4: Configure SFTP or PHINMS feed.

Commonly used third-party SFTP tools include:

Work with the NSSP onboarding team to set up feed account and establish connectivity to the staging environment.

PHINMS guidance:

Work with NSSP onboarding team to configure feed connection.

STEP 5: Connect to the onboarding environment.

Upload Path /<site_name>/<feed_name>/incoming/
Server Name
IP Address
SFTP Port 22

STEP 6: Once connected to onboarding environment, test connectivity by uploading a "hello world" test message to upload directory of your feed. Confirm receipt.

HIE: Health Information Exchange
PHIN: Public Health Information Network
SFTP: Secure File Transfer Protocol
SSH: Secure Shell (protocol)

  1. HL7® and FHIR® are the registered trademarks of Health Level Seven International, and their use of these trademarks does not constitute an endorsement by HL7.