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Medical Electronic Disease Surveillance Intelligence System (MEDSIS)

Technical Design and Functionality

The design and functionality of this application meets the federal requirements of the Public Health Information Network functions and specifications version 1.2, the public health logical data model and the architectural elements of the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System.  MEDSIS is a HIPAA compliant, statewide system hosted and supported by the Department for use by local health departments for disease surveillance, and individuals and institutions responsible for reporting communicable diseases. Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR) from commercial clinical and hospital laboratories will also be available through web entry or daily electronic transmission of laboratory test and result information to MEDSIS, eliminating paper reporting from these laboratories. This information will be immediately available to local health departments.

MEDSIS is integrated into the SIREN (Secure Integrated Response Electronic Notification) System and thus, will take advantage of SIREN alerting capabilities, secure email communications, secure data messaging and translation services, the role-based public health directory and the system's failover capacities. MEDSIS is under development in partnership with our local health departments, to ensure local disease surveillance and outbreak detection needs are met. For more information on this application, please contact the Electronic Disease Surveillance Program at (602) 364-3889.

Functionalities available in this first release (MEDSIS 1.0) include:

  • Entry of cases directly into system by county health departments,
    infectioncontrol practitioners, and Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS)
  • Immediate jurisdiction-specific viewing of reported or submitted cases
  • Assignment of investigators and tracking of investigations by public health users
  • Functionality to manage cases under investigation, including addition of disease specific risk information for nine enteric diseases
  • Search for cases or patients
  • Ability to share a view or transfer cases to another jurisdiction
  • Ability to submit cases to ADHS
  • Generation of reports
  • Download extracts of jurisdiction-specific data for further analysis;

Planned future enhancements include:

  • Migration to the latest version of the public health logical data model
  • Additional functionalities:
    • To track historical addresses
    • To de-duplicate and merge public health cases
    • To automate case definitions
  • Incorporation of data edits and business rules
  • Addition of the remaining disease-specific observations
  • Enhanced reports and extracts
  • Inclusion of historical data
  • Enhanced integrated electronic laboratory reporting.

The system is housed in a commercial data center served by two power grids, diesel generator and battery cell back up, and 26 internet service providers, six running simultaneously. The site has restricted access and structural security. The application is written in .Net, using and array of redundant SQL servers, integrated data repository and a storage area network. With Microsoft Internet Explorer browser 5.5 or higher, user ID and password, and signed user agreement various levels of access enable external and internal partners to use the system.