What is RCKMS?
The Reportable Conditions Knowledge Management System (RCKMS) is an authoritative, real-time portal to improve disease surveillance. RCKMS stores comprehensive information on public health reporting requirements and acts as a decision support service (DSS) to determine if a potential case is reportable and to which jurisdiction(s). RCKMS consists of 3 parts: the authoring interface, knowledge repository and decision support service.
The authoring interface is a web portal for public health agencies to input, edit and manage their jurisdictional reporting criteria. The authoring interface is pre-populated with default reporting criteria as defined by CSTE position statements. Users can choose to adopt and use the default as is or adjust the criteria to meet jurisdictional needs. The authoring interface also includes commonly requested optional reporting criteria that jurisdictions can select from.
The knowledge repository is a database containing default and jurisdictional reporting specifications. After being entered by users, reporting specifications are stored in the knowledge repository and deployed to the decision support service.
The decision support service is invoked by an automated call from an EHR system, either directly or through an intermediary service, to determine if a potential case is reportable and to which jurisdiction(s).
Accurate, timely and complete coverage of reportable conditions depends on healthcare reporters having correct and current information regarding reporting criteria. Currently, reporting criteria are difficult for human users to locate, as there is no single place where information can be accessed. Reporting criteria are complex and differ across state and local jurisdictions. Information is generally human-readable but not in a format suitable for machine-processing.
RCKMS strengthens disease surveillance in the US by providing a single authoritative portal for public health to efficiently author, manage and update reporting specifications as they change over time. It provides a mechanism to communicate updates to reporters and improves the completeness of case reports sent to public health by reporters.
RCKMS can decrease the time and effort needed by healthcare professionals to comply with reporting requirements by providing a centralized location to view, query and download information on public health reporting criteria. It provides a centralized decision support service that can determine whether a case is reportable and to which jurisdiction(s), and eventually a mechanism to receive updates for when public health reporting requirements are changed.
RCKMS and eCR
RCKMS is part of an initial implementation of a centralized infrastructure for electronic case reporting (eCR) proposed by the Digital Bridge initiative. The Reportable Conditions Trigger Codes (RCTC) are implemented directly within the EHR system. When there is a match between a code in the EHR and a code in the RCTC, it triggers the sending of an electronic initial case report (eICR) to the APHL Informatics Messaging Service (AIMS) Platform. RCKMS is hosted centrally on the AIMS Platform, which invokes the RCKMS decision support service for evaluation.
RCKMS determines the reportability of the eICR and generates a Reportability Response (RR) documenting if any condition(s) were found to be reportable and to which jurisdiction(s). The RR includes additional information, such as contact information for the relevant public health agency. RCKMS uses current HL7 standards for eCR and aligns with initiatives supporting interoperability including the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) ACT, ONC’s S&I Framework and Meaningful Use Objectives.
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