AbstractThis report delineates Yolo County Health Department’s process to ascertain its optimal methods of participation in syndromic surveillance and health information exchange. As a health department serving a county of just 200,000 residents, Yolo County Health Department needed to operate within strict financial constraints. Meaningful Use legislation enabled it to pursue both syndromic surveillance and health information exchange participation whilst complying with its budgetary restrictions. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH), a segment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, has incentivized the ‘Meaningful Use’ of electronic health records (EHRs) by providing incentive reimbursements and non-compliance penalties. The Meaningful Use of EHRs is to take place over 3 Stages: Stage 1 has begun, Stage 2 is imminent, and Stage 3 is currently being discussed. Having been solicited by both health information exchange and syndromic surveillance options which were cost-prohibitive, Yolo County Health Department focused attention on BioSense 2.0, a Meaningul Use-ready and virtually free syndromic surveillance program developed by the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In collaboration with Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services, and with support from several other area counties, Yolo County Health Department submitted a Funding Opportunity application for BioSense 2.0 regional implementation. Through this collaboration, Yolo County Health Department has begun participating in the formative stages of the Sacramento Area Center for Advanced Biosurveillance (SAC-B). Via SAC-B, Yolo County Health Department will be able to participate in syndromic surveillance in the BioSense 2.0 program, and simultaneously expand its electronic health data sharing towards a more comprehensive health information exchange. Lastly, over the course of these projects, three other methods of participating in electronic health data sharing became available to Yolo County Health Department: all three methods were the direct result of Meaningful Use legislation. Key words: county health department; health information exchange; meaningful use, syndromic surveillance
Authors own copyright of their articles appearing in the Online Journal of Public Health Informatics. Readers may copy articles without permission of the copyright owner(s), as long as the author and OJPHI are acknowledged in the copy and the copy is used for educational, not-for-profit purposes. Share-alike: when posting copies or adaptations of the work, release the work under the same license as the original. For any other use of articles, please contact the copyright owner. The journal/publisher is not responsible for subsequent uses of the work, including uses infringing the above license. It is the author's responsibility to bring an infringement action if so desired by the author.