• APHL Informatics Messaging Services (AIMS), supported by an NIBIB contract
• ReportStream, a free, open-source project created by the CDC
After receiving a test result from a mobile or web application, a RADx MARS compatible hub can route data to state and federal systems in multiple ways:
- Data can be de-identified and sent directly to the federal health system, HHS Protect.
- Based on existing relationships with state health authorities, a hub can determine if a state accepts OTC results and then send identified messages to the state where the test taker resides.
Because state health systems are required to send a de-identified copy of test results to COVID Electronic Laboratory Reporting (CELR)—another system that routes data to HHS Protect—two copies of the same message can end up in HHS Protect (see diagram below). To counter this, the NIBIB team has devised a de-duplication strategy to address the issue of duplicate messages from the two separate data streams.
An independent data flow from the hub to HHS Protect ensures that de-identified results data are available for federal public health response efforts even if a particular state does not accept OTC results.
Two hubs currently support the MARS HL7v2 specification: AIMS and ReportStream.
APHL Informatics Messaging Services (AIMS)
The AIMS platform was developed by the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) with the support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and has long been used to route laboratory test results to government health systems. The AIMS electronic laboratory reporting (ELR) service enables the secure transport of laboratory test results from laboratories, pharmacies, and health care facilities to public health agencies at the federal, state, territorial and local levels. For the COVID-19 ELR use case, it is currently transmitting the data of over 50 organizations, including laboratory-data-producing federal agencies, with thousands of associated sub-sender facilities. More recently, AIMS added support for COVID-19 self-administered test reporting, including the MARS HL7v2 specification.
The AIMS platform has established connections today to every state and territorial public health agency in the nation and a number of larger local health departments.
How AIMS Works
AIMS is a secure, cloud-based platform that accelerates the implementation of health messaging by providing shared services to aid in the visualization, interoperability, security and hosting of electronic laboratory data and applications.
Through a single SFTP or AWS S3 connection to the platform, HL7 2.5.1 ELR R1 laboratory data messages are validated, end-to-end tested, then sent out nationally or to a targeted set of states based on where a data sender is required to report.
Benefits of sending OTC data through AIMS:
- Datapult, an APHL Company, and the implementor of the AIMS Hub under the NIH contract, has deep understanding and ability to work with federal, state, territorial, and local public health agencies and laboratories.
- AIMS has effectively served the needs of public health since its development in 2007, and APHL has over 100 years of experience in public health.
- AIMS has the immediate capability to onboard with all states and territories today through a single connection.
- AIMS is a HIPAA/FISMA-Moderate/EHNAC certified environment that encrypts protected health data during transport.
- The AIMS platform provides an end-to-end view of messaging transport and other metrics through accessible data visualization dashboards.
- Once entities onboard with AIMS, they can add use cases to report data to public health for other COVID-19 test types or other reportable conditions.
Additional benefits to using AIMS include:
- Centralized processing and message routing
- Real-time monitoring and audit systems
- Reduced data translation and transformation complexity
- Vocabulary and HL7 message support
- Flexible capacity technical infrastructure
- Reduced development and support costs
Created by the CDC, ReportStream is a free, open-source reporting solution for COVID-19 test results. ReportStream securely stores and protects test results and patient data by two-factor authentication, database encryption, and HTTPS. Currently, ReportStream is connected to most federal, state, and local public health authorities, with a goal to integrate to all 64 public health authorities. In addition to handling reporting for laboratory and over-the-counter tests—self-administered or proctored—ReportStream has added support for the MARS HL7v2 specification.
How ReportStream Works
ReportStream is a fast, free, and easy way to report COVID-19 test results and for public health departments to receive, process, and share that data across jurisdictions—all through a single connection.
ReportStream works with organizations, testing facilities, data aggregators, and manufacturers that want to meet COVID-19 test data reporting requirements. ReportStream also partners with public health departments that want access to this data through a secure, online portal. Streamlining the reporting process, ReportStream allows reporting facilities to submit data with higher quality and accuracy so that public health departments nationwide can receive greater insights for managing their COVID-19 response.
Benefits of sending OTC data through ReportStream:
- Fast, easy, and secure reporting: Use a single connection to share data with public health departments nationwide. Modern development standards ensure seamless and secure transmission.
- Streamlined data routing and transformation: ReportStream routes your submitted data to relevant jurisdictions across the country. If a jurisdiction requires a format different from what was submitted, ReportStream can automatically apply necessary transformations.
- Proactive alerts and monitoring: Receive alerts and access to your data feeds so you can fix errors and monitor submission status and details.