Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR) in Louisiana

The Louisiana Sanitary Code, §107 Laboratory and Healthcare Facility Reporting Requirements, specifies that certain laboratory results for disease conditions deemed reportable must be reported to the Office of Public Health (OPH).  This is separate from case reporting.  For information on case reporting please refer to the case reporting links at the bottom of this page.

File Types

HL7 2.5.1:

Laboratories are encouraged to report information electronically using HL7 2.5.1 message structure and appropriate LOINC codes designating the test performed.

  • Standard vocabulary should be used including LOINC (Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes) and SNOMED (Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine) to code tests, findings, and other relevant information for electronic laboratory reports (ELRs).
    We ask that the following systems be used where appropriate:
    • LOINC - Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes
    • SNOMED - Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine
  • A list of all unique LOINC and SNOMED combinations for reportable findings must be provided to the ELR team during onboarding and when changes occur.
  • Please contact ELR@la.gov to obtain the most recent version of the “Louisiana Department of Health Electronic Laboratory Reporting (LA-ELR) Health Level Seven (HL7) Version 2.5.1 Guidelines.

Flat Files: In some special circumstances, other file types, such as flat files (CSV – Comma Delimited), may be accepted after permission has been granted by the ELR team.

  • Please contact ELR@la.gov to obtain the guidelines and template for CSV (Comma Delimited) files

Data aggregators: Louisiana also accepts data from various data aggregators. This may not be an exhaustive list. Please note that these entities are managed outside of LA-OPH, so they should be contacted regarding specific questions.

  • LaHIE: The Louisiana Health Information Exchange (LaHIE) can provide free onboarding assistance. For more information visit https://lhcqf.org/. Please notify the ELR Team if you intend to pursue this option.
  • CDC ReportStream / SimpleReport: This option is currently only available for COVID-19 and mpox data. Please see the CDC’s ReportStream website for additional information on this option: https://reportstream.cdc.gov/
  • APHL AIMS: The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) developed and maintains the APHL Informatics Messaging Systems (AIMS), a secure, cloud-based platform that serves as a national data exchange solution for public health. Please contact APHL/AIMS directly for more information including potential fees. https://www.aphl.org/programs/informatics/Pages/aims_platform.aspx

Note: Submitters must continue traditional reporting practices (i.e. fax, phone, or mail) during implementation of electronic laboratory reporting (ELR) until LDH determines that all onboarding and quality assurance steps are complete.

Transport Mechanisms Secure File Transfer Protocol (sFTP) is the transport mechanism for HL7 and flat files (CSV). Please contact the ELR team (ELR@la.gov) to discuss connectivity options and setup connectivity.

Dual” Reporting The Sanitary Code stipulates that all hospitals, laboratories, or other lab facilities that have knowledge of a reportable disease result have the responsibility of notifying the OPH regarding the result.  In some cases, all of a provider's labs are outsourced to a reference lab, and the reportable conditions are sent directly to the OPH from the reference lab.  OPH has allowed the reference lab to report the results of outsourced labs on behalf of the referring facility in certain circumstances in order to fulfill Sanitary Code requirements (please contact the ELR team at ELR@la.gov to request permission).

Promoting Interoperability Program (formerly known as Meaningful Use) The electronic submission of laboratory results is a Promoting Interoperability Program objective. For Stage 1, a test or ongoing submission is required. For Stage 2, ongoing submission is required. The attesting facility must report all labs deemed reportable by the Louisiana Sanitary Code using a CMS-approved transmission process and HL7 version 2.5.1 formatting. Each facility must report all reportable lab results, whether or not they were performed in-house or by a reference laboratory. The OPH has been able to receive compliant lab reports since 2011; therefore, exclusions cannot be claimed for this measure. Prior to the issuance of an incentive payment, Louisiana Medicaid staff verifies testing or ongoing submission with the Office of Public Health's ELR Team and requests documentation from the attesting facility. Acceptable documentation includes:

  1. dated screenshots that illustrate a test submission or ongoing transmission with identifying information (e.g., NPI, provider name, facility name);
  2. a dated record of transmission with identifying information; or
  3. a letter or email from OPH or other registry confirming test or ongoing transmission.  

When a facility contacts the OPH with the intention of submitting standard electronic laboratory reporting (ELR), they will receive documentation for creating the messages and the process for on-boarding. In Louisiana, this is a fairly quick and straightforward process. For more information about Promoting Interoperability and Public Health Reporting in Louisiana, please click here:

Contact Us: Please contact the ELR team to initiate onboarding or if you have questions. This website is informational purposes only. Potential submitters should contact the ELR team for more complete information about the onboarding process and current specifications. Email: elr@la.gov  


Case Reporting Information: Case reporting requirements are different than laboratory reporting requirements.  For specific information on case reporting, please refer to the appropriate OPH program.