Syndromic surveillance provides public health officials with a timely system for detecting, understanding, and monitoring health events. By tracking symptoms of patients in emergency departments—before a diagnosis is confirmed—public health can detect unusual levels of illness to determine whether a response is warranted.

Syndromic data can serve as an early warning system for public health concerns such as flu outbreaks and have been used in responses for opioid overdoses, e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury, Zika virus infection, and natural disasters.

Syndromic surveillance is not tied to reportable conditions or laboratory results, but rather is a set of information shared for all patient visits (or all visits of a certain type, such as all emergency department and urgent care visits). Health care visit information is de-identified and grouped into "syndromes". Syndromes are categories of visits that may be similar. Commonly used syndromes include: respiratory, gastrointestinal, neurologic, rash, sepsis, injury, animal bites, and severe illness/death. A typical syndromic surveillance system will alert the user when there are more visits of a particular syndrome than expected, based on past visits. NDHHS follows up on any identified data anomaly to see if there may be a reason for the unexpected increase.


Registration and On-Boarding

The Registration of Intent must be completed and submitted to NDHHS syndromic surveillance team prior to the start of any on-boarding activities. Submission of the Registration of Intent will place your provider site/provider group in queue for connection for syndromic surveillance.


Determine how messages will be transported. Facilities can connect via the North Dakota Health Information Network (NDHIN) (preferred) or can connect through a secure FTP connection.

Messages must conform to the HL7 standard version 2.5.1. NDHHS accepts four types of messages:

  • A01 - Admit/visit notification
  • A03 - Discharge/end visit
  • A04 - Registration of patient
  • A08 - Update patient information

Condensed Specification

If you have questions, please contact us via email at (subject line Syndromic Surveillance) or via phone at (701) 328-2378.