Syndromic Surveillance in Louisiana

In April 2013, syndromic surveillance data became reportable according to the Sanitary Code of the State of Louisiana (LAC 51:II.105). All conditions seen at the Emergency Departments of Acute Care Hospitals are Class E reportable, whereas chief complaint text or International Classification of Disease Code (ICD 9 or 10) shall be reported to the Office of Public Health within one business day of the visit by electronic means as specified by the OPH.

Louisiana Early Event Detection System (LEEDS) is the Office of Public Health's syndromic surveillance system. It automatically processes hospital ED and urgent care data to identify records that are indicative of one or more of the syndromes tracked by the OPH.  Participating facilities submit daily HL7-formatted data files to LEEDS using secure SSH file transfer protocol (SFTP).  All other facility types and providers, except for those practicing at an urgent care facility, are excluded from syndromic data submission in Louisiana at this time.  

LEEDS syndrome reports can be viewed online at any time by authorized users via password-protected, web-based accounts. Reports present weekly syndrome counts and the percentage of total visits on statewide, regional, and facility levels within user-specified time periods. Access to these accounts is restricted to users in the submitting facility to meet privacy and security needs. Aggregated state-level LEEDS data is shared with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's BioSense, a national syndromic surveillance system. Hospital users will soon be able to view these data on the BioSense website.

Meaningful Use

Submission of electronic syndromic surveillance data to public health agencies is one of the Meaningful Use objectives in which hospitals or eligible professionals primarily practicing at an urgent care facility can participate.  These providers may choose to perform syndromic surveillance reporting by either submitting data directly to the state or by working through the Louisiana Health Information Exchange (LaHIE).

A test message or ongoing submission of syndromic surveillance data will meet the Stage 1 menu objective.  For Stage 2, ongoing submission is required.  LEEDS accepts data from only emergency departments and urgent care facilities, which precludes eligible hospitals from claiming an exclusion for this MU measure.  Prior to the issuance of an incentive payment for MU, Louisiana Medicaid staff verifies testing or ongoing submission with the Office of Public Health's Center for Population Health Informatics and requests documentation from the attesting facility.  Acceptable documentation includes:

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

An onboarding guide can be found here.

Hospital emergency departments and urgent care facilities can register their intent to participate here

The OPH Syndromic Surveillance Coordinator can be contacted with the following information: