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Syndromic Surveillance

In South Carolina, syndromic surveillance is used to monitor chief complaint data to help identify events of public health concern.

The electronic health record (EHR) incentives program, commonly known as Meaningful Use (MU), includes an objective for healthcare professionals and organizations to send HL7 2.5.1 syndromic surveillance messages to public health.

DHEC currently requests syndromic surveillance messages from:

  1. Hospitals (emergency room visits, admissions)
  2. Urgent care centers

The information must be sent in specific formats that have been developed for sending health-related information between healthcare information systems.  Data submission and analysis is coordinated at the state health department. A daily report is made available to the reporting facility based on their submitted data. Facilities may be contacted for additional information by the state health department if a review of the data identifies a trend that may indicate a situation of public health concern.

Key Documents

The following documents provide guidance for health care organizations seeking to send syndromic surveillance messages to DHEC.

For additional information or questions, please send an email to