Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR)

Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR) is the electronic transmission from laboratories to public health of laboratory reports which identify reportable conditions. ELR has many benefits, including improved timeliness, reduction of manual data entry errors, and reports that are more complete. Electronic Laboratory Reporting has been promoted as a public health priority for the past several years and its inclusion as a meaningful use objective for public health serves as a catalyst to accelerate its adoption. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have launched the “Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Electronic Health Records Incentive Program” to provide incentive payments to Eligible Professionals (EPs), Eligible Hospitals (EHs) and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, that adopt and successfully demonstrate meaningful use of certified Electronic Health Records (EHR) technology. The Stage 1, meaningful use objective and measure for reportable lab results are:

  • Objective: Capability to submit electronic data on reportable (as required by state or local law) lab results to PH agencies and actual submission in accordance with applicable law and practice.
  • Measure: Performed at least one test of EHR’s technology’s capacity to provide results electronic submission of reportable lab results to public health agencies and follow–up submission if the test is successful

While the reportable lab results meaningful use objective promotes adoption by hospitals and laboratories, it does not address state challenges in receiving the data nor does it provide vendors and laboratories practical implementation guidelines for providing electronic laboratory reports to public health. To address some of the challenges of ELR adoption, CSTE and CDC had convened a Joint ELR Task Force. For more information see CSTE/CDC ELR Task Force.

HL7 Version 2.5.1 Implementation Guide: Electronic Laboratory Reporting to Public Health, Release 1 (US Realm) (electronic version in PDF) with Errata


Additional ELR Documentation:

2.5.1 Clarification Document for EHR Technology Certification [PDF – 676 KB], July 16, 2012

2.5.1 Clarification Document for EHR Technology Certification v1.1 [PDF – 1 MB], October 16, 2012

2.5.1 Clarification Document for EHR Technology Certification v1.2 [PDF – 608 KB], March 22, 2013

Reportable Condition Mapping Tables (RCMT)