Syndromic Surveillance

Syndromic surveillance is a strategy used by public health for early event detection and to monitor the health of the community. It uses “pre diagnostic” information, such as chief complaints from people seeking acute care, to identify emerging trends of public health concern. The data are grouped into syndromes based on the patient’s symptoms and statistical algorithms are run to identify unusual temporal and geographic patterns that might indicate situations of concern. Syndromic surveillance is used to monitor the level of influenza-like illness during flu season, illnesses and injuries associated with health problems associated with mass gatherings, emerging outbreaks and foodborne illnesses, major storms and natural disasters, and other issues of public health concern in the community.

Santa Cruz County Health Service Agency has elected to receive electronic submissions for Syndromic Surveillance data via the Santa Cruz HIE.  The Santa Cruz HIE is actively working with Watsonville Community Hospital and Dignity Health Dominican Hospital.  Emergency Departments will be given first priority, then urgent care facilities, then ambulatory providers.

Santa Cruz County monitors the reason for all in person encounters seen by eligible professionals at the practice level through syndromic surveillance.  No filtering of data by health condition should be done prior to its submission to the Santa Cruz HIE.

All providers in the Santa Cruz Community are encouraged to submit syndromic surveillance data and should submit the attached form even if you are not participating in Meaningful Use.  However, if you are planning to attest to Meaningful Use in 2016 you must complete the attached form and submit by February 29th to<>.

Syndromic Surveillance and Meaningful Use Beginning 2016 Santa Cruz County is accepting syndromic surveillance submissions from EHs and EPs.  Providers attesting to meaningful use will not be able to claim an exclusion for 2016. If you are planning to attest to meaningful use in 2016 you need to complete the attached form indicating your intent to submit syndromic surveillance data and return the form by February 29th.

What you need to do:

  • The Santa Cruz HIE will reply via email acknowledging receipt of your registration form which will place you in the queue.
  • Once invited to onboard by the Santa Cruz HIE, you will need to complete the Syndromic Surveillance Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) (coming soon) and an information packet to guide you through next steps.

Additional information and resources for Local Health Jurisdiction is available at and on the County of Santa Cruz:

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