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    COVID-19 Electronic Lab Reporting Instructions for Hospitals and Laboratories

    All COVID-19 results are required to be reported within 24 hours of becoming available. MDH can accept data electronically via HL7, CSV template, and through the CRISP reporting tool. Data sent via HL7 and CSV must be sent via sftp.  You will not be able to log in using a browser. A sftp client (such as FileZilla or WInSCP) is needed to send files. A sftp client can be downloaded for free. You can find sftp instructions here

    Please contact mdh.elronboarding@maryland.gov ​ to set up a sftp account with MDH.

    HL7 is MDH's preferred electronic format. If your facility/laboratory has HL7 capability, please refer to the HL7 requirements and guidance provided. Our HL7 requirements should be used in conjunction with the HL7 2.5.1 implementation guide​. Please make sure you refer to our HL7 HHS guidance as well, since additional requirements are requested specifically for COVID-19 data. HL7 messages require a period of validation and QA. Once the MDH ELR Team has deemed the messages acceptable, messages will be processed into our surveillance system, NEDSS. Any paper reporting of COVID-19 results to the health department can stop once the MDH ELR team has begun to process your laboratory's results in production. This applies for all forms of electronic reporting. Please confirm with MDH if you are not certain if your facility's results are being proces​sed into our production system. A sample COVID-19 HL7 message with AOEs can be found here.​

    If your facility/laboratory will be using the CSV template, please review the data dictionary (including the notes) prior to sending results to make sure that data is in the correct format. Data should be as complete as possible. If you do not have data for a field, it can be left blank. If we absolutely cannot process the file without that data, we will let you know. Please do not delete columns or change any formatting of the template. Make sure the file is sent as .CSV and not .XLS or another format.  Please see the notes below for information about specific fields of the CSV template. The template may be downlo​aded here

    • For  Test_code, please make sure the test name and LOINC used matches the type of testing that has been performed (antigen, antibody, PCR) A full listing can be found here: https://loinc.org/sars-cov-2-and-covid-19/ .  The LOINC mapping tab of the provided LIVD codes document​ lists the test codes for each device (based on model, manufacturer, and test) in column F.
    • The units column can be left blank.
    • The Patient ID can be the same as the order number if no other unique identifier is available.
    • The LOINC mapping tab of the LIVD codes document also includes Device identifier information in column M.
    • Result codes should be SNOMED codes. A list of SNOMED codes has also been provided.​
    • Patient county should be submitted as either the name of the county (without the word county) or as a FIPS code​.


    HL7 requirements

    HL7 HHS guidance

    HL7 2.5.1 Implementation Guide​​

    Sample HL7 message (with AOEs)

    CSV template

    CSV data dictionary

    LIVD codes document

    SNOMED codes list

    sftp client instructions

    MD FIPS codes​