AMA calls to modernize EHRs for public health surveillance reporting

American Medical Association announced on Nov. 20 a new policy for using EHRs to streamline public health surveillance.

To help alleviate physicians' burden of public health surveillance reporting, the policy also supports efforts to implement electronic case reporting, which would automatically generate reportable conditions from EHR systems directly to public agencies for review.

"We know that disease surveillance is essential to monitoring, controlling and preventing disease and clinicians play an important role in this process," AMA said in a Nov. 20 statement posted to its website. "However, submitting data to public health agencies can be burdensome and disruptive to workflows for physicians and other mandatory reporters."

Under the new policy, AMA asks for increased state and local funding to modernize the public health data systems to enhance both the quality and timeliness of the reported data. AMA also is encouraging state legislatures to collaborate with state and national medical specialty societies and public health agencies when proposing new mandatory disease reporting requirements.

AMA's House of Delegates adopted the new policy during its Interim Meeting in San Diego on Nov. 19. The organization also introduced a new policy aimed at promoting inclusive gender, sex and sexual orientation options in medical documentation for LGBTQ patients.

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