computer security, emergency department reporting, public health informatics



  1. Magnuson, J. A.
  2. Klockner, Rocke
  3. Ladd-Wilson, Stephen
  4. Zechnich, Andrew
  5. Bangs, Christopher
  6. Kohn, Melvin A.


Electronic emergency department reporting provides the potential for enhancing local and state surveillance capabilities for a wide variety of syndromes and reportable conditions. The task of protecting data confidentiality and integrity while developing electronic data interchange between a hospital emergency department and a state public health department proved more complex than expected. This case study reports on the significant challenges that had to be resolved to accomplish this goal; these included application restrictions and incompatibilities, technical malfunctions, changing standards, and insufficient dedicated resources. One of the key administrative challenges was that of coordinating project security with enterprise security. The original project has evolved into an ongoing pilot, with the health department currently receiving secure data from the emergency department at four-hour intervals. Currently, planning is underway to add more emergency departments to the project.