Syndromic Surveillance

Wisconsin's Division of Public Health (DPH) has the technical capacity to accept syndromic surveillance data from Eligible Hospitals and Eligible Professionals (all categories, including chiropractors and dentists).  Providers presently have two options for submitting syndromic surveillance data.  One option is for the provider to subscribe to the Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network (WISHIN) services and electronically test and send syndromic surveillance data to public health via WISHIN using a secure VPN HL7 interface. WISHIN sends the data to Wisconsin's secure space in BioSense 2.0, a secure, nationwide public health tracking tool. The second option is for the provider to send syndromic surveillance data directly to Wisconsin's secure space in BioSense 2.0.

Regardless of which transmission path is used, any provider that wants to satisfy the Meaningful Use objective for syndromic surveillance data submission has to meet the HL7 2.5.1 standards and conform to the HL7 implementation specifications found in the Public Health Information Network (PHIN) message guides for syndromic surveillance. Also, the technology used to generate the ADT HL7 messages has to be a federally certified 2014 Edition EHR technology for the syndromic surveillance meaningful use objective.

DPH has limited resource capacity to test with and onboard new providers. DPH is prioritizing syndromic surveillance testing and onboarding for the following categories of providers:

  • Hospitals (either part of an Integrated Delivery Network or independent)
  • Clinics in Integrated Delivery Networks that include hospitals
  • Clients of a Health Information Exchange

It is unlikely testing will begin in 2015 for other categories of providers. Providers in Stage 2 of Meaningful Use can meet the syndromic surveillance objective even if they do not begin testing during their EHR reporting period as long as they register with DPH no later than 60 days after the start of their reporting period, are responsive to DPH communications, and have a federally certified 2014 Edition EHR technology certified for syndromic surveillance data submission. DPH requires all providers, whether participating in Meaningful Use (any stage) or not, to register if they want to test and onboard for electronic submission of syndromic surveillance data to public health. Providers in Stage 1 of Meaningful Use that remain in the registration queue because of a public health agency's or its third-party agent's lack of capacity to test would be eligible to take an exclusion for the syndromic surveillance objective. Providers in Stage 1 of meaningful use for the Medicaid EHR Incentive that are not in one of the priority categories for testing and onboarding listed above should consider selecting a different Meaningful Use menu objective, since effective in Program Year 2014 and beyond taking an exclusion on one or more menu objectives cannot count toward meeting five (5) menu objectives.  Providers in Stage 1 of meaningful use for the Medicare EHR Incentive program that qualify for exclusions on all the public health menu objectives have the option of counting one of these public health exclusions toward meeting one of the five (5) menu objectives (see CMS FAQ2903/FAQ10162).

To register with the syndromic surveillance program, please visit the PHREDS registration FAQ page. To register, you will need the following information:

  • Organization name
  • Primary technical contact information (phone number and email address)
  • Primary Meaningful Use contact information, if applicable (phone number and email address)
  • Primary address
  • Meaningful Use stage and year, if applicable
  • EHR vendor name
  • EHR product name and version
  • Submission option (WISHIN or direct to BioSense 2.0)

For providers onboarding to meet Meaningful Use, the syndromic surveillance and other program areas will not begin the onboarding process until you register.

Onboarding Checklist

Use this syndromic surveillance onboarding checklist (PDF, 107 KB) to learn how to submit data electronically.


If you have questions concerning the registration process, please email

If you have questions concerning the technical onboarding process for syndromic surveillance, please email the Syndromic Surveillance Program at

Last Revised: March 5, 2015