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Page last reviewed: October 16, 2023

Syndromic Surveillance

Healthcare professional looking at camera

Contact information

Syndromic surveillance and healthcare facilities

Syndromic surveillance provides early detection of aberrations related to public health threats. A main component of syndromic surveillance is information obtained from patient clinical encounter records which are sent by treating facilities to health departments via HL7 compliant messages.

The information on this site is for healthcare facilities, within the Texas Health Service Region 6/5S, interested in sending real-time health and health related data to the Houston Health Department. In addition to the 15 counties depicted on the map, Region 6/5S includes: Houston Health Department, Beaumont Public Health Department, and Port Arthur Public Health Department.

Who can send data?

Beginning January 2016, healthcare facilities that can connect with Houston Health Department to achieve the meaningful use syndromic surveillance objective for Stage 2.0 include:

  • Eligible hospitals providing inpatient care
  • Eligible hospital providing emergency and urgent care ONLY

The syndromic provider application may be requested and submitted via

What type of data?

Health and health related data from healthcare facilities should be received by a health department and contain a minimum amount of information or data elements. The minimum data elements are different for Stage 1 and Stage 2. The categories for data elements include:

  1. Basic message information
  2. Patient demographics
  3. Patient visit information
  4. Diagnostic and pre-diagnostic information
  5. Vitals
  6. Risk factors

Texas statutes

From CDC: For a textu description of how syndromic surveillance works, check out the How We Conduct Syndromic Surveillance page or download the PDF.