Pre-Onboarding: New Site Planning

A CDC job aid to support site administrators


Preparation is essential when it comes to ensuring a successful onboarding process for sites that will transmit data to the NSSP BioSense Platform. This guide supports site administrators.

Graphic of clipboard on blue background

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: Pre-Onboarding: New Site Planning

This guide outlines the activities that must be completed before submitting a Service Desk ticket to start the onboarding process. This information will be useful for a new site scheduled for or being considered for onboarding.

Graphic showing onboarding phases
Identifying your team and reviewing resources are helpful activities prior to onboarding.

STEP 1: Request new site onboarding participation at Wait for a reply from the NSSP onboarding team. NSSP will:

  • Assess request for prioritization
  • Send out official New Site Onboarding Invitation to interested sites
  • Propose an onboarding window with scheduled milestones
  • Schedule kick-off call to initiate the onboarding window

STEP 2: Identify your team (New Site Onboarding — The Complete Guide, Section 3.4, Site Roles and Responsibilities):

  • Onboarding coordinator
  • Site administrator(s)
  • Feed administrator to establish feed connectivity
  • Technical contact to develop HL7® messages
  • Epidemiologist

Some duties may overlap. Duties may be performed by multiple organizations.

STEP 3: Review training and resources:

STEP 4: Check with your organization to find out if HL7® data integration tools (e.g., Rhapsody and Mirth) are available. Both have SFTP capabilities and can be configured for data uploads.

STEP 5: Develop 30+ days of HL7® files (New Site Onboarding — The Complete Guide, 3.2 Prerequisites) and confirm HL7® messages meet PHIN Messaging Guide for Syndromic Surveillance and NIST standardsexternal icon.

STEP 6: Identify and engage with high-priority facilities to onboard.

STEP 7: Establish optional service-level agreements as needed and submit to NSSP Service Desk:

STEP 8: Plan for data sharing and intra-site access (New Site Onboarding — The Complete Guide, 3.8 Data Sharing and Intra-Site Access).

  • What adjacent or other sites are your site facilities likely to share data with (intra-site access)?
  • What data will be shared? Who, specifically, will share data?
  • Data sharing through Chief Complaint Query Validation tool (CCQV).


  • 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.