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COVID-19 Reporting

Guidance for Electronic Submission of COVID-19 Testing Results

Ohio Public Health Rule

Persons in charge of any laboratory that examines specimens of human origin for evidence of COVID-19 infection shall electronically report within twenty-four (24) hours the results of all such examination, including, but not limited to: positive, negative, invalid, and inconclusive results.

Laboratory results should be electronically reported according to the protocols outlined below.

The Director’s Journal Entry may be accessed here.

Laboratory or Facility Registration

Any entity performing any type of COVID-19 testing of human origin must register the name of their laboratory or facility at http://coronavirus.ohio.gov/registerlab.  Once approved by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), your facility will be included in the lab reporting web portal for aggregate count submissions. The web portal link will be provided after registration.

The Director’s Order may be accessed here.

Aggregate Count Submission

Any entity performing any type of COVID-19 testing of human origin must report the total number of tests performed daily by 11 AM ET.  The specific reporting requirements will be provided after the registration step above.

Case or Line Level Results Reporting

Persons in charge of any laboratory that examines specimens of human origin for evidence of COVID-19 infection shall electronically report within twenty-four (24) hours the results of all such examination, including, but not limited to: positive, negative, invalid, and inconclusive results.

Establishing Secure Connection to ODH and File Validation

ODH offers two connection methods for the submission of COVID-19 testing results, including a secure, authenticated web portal electronic laboratory reporting (ELR) file upload tool and secure file transfer protocol (SFTP).

  1. Authenticated Web Portal
  • Authenticated web portal was built for any entity (e.g. long-term care facility, private and hospital laboratories) performing laboratory testing, specifically for COVID-19, to securely and safely transmit electronic files containing protected health information, using Ohio’s custom CSV template.
     
  • Any person may create a user account at https://ohid.ohio.gov and request access to the ELR File Upload application to securely submit electronic laboratory reporting (ELR) files.
    • Step-by-step instructions for account creation can be accessed here.
    • After account creation, the user must request access to the application, ELR File Upload.  Step-by-step instructions on this process can be accessed here.
       
  • Application requests are reviewed and approved by ODH personnel who will provide additional details on file submissions.  The ODH representative will verify the file structure and complete a brief file validation.
  1. SFTP Connection
  • SFTP connection is generally reserved for larger volume laboratories and hospitals capable of setting up an automated HL7 ELR interface. This process involves whitelisting of lab server IP accounts and the submitting entity must provide a static IP address. The SFTP request form will be provided after the registration step above.
     
  • Upon successful, secure connection to ODH’s SFTP server, ODH personnel will verify the file structure and complete a brief file validation.

Line Level Reporting Instructions

  • Each entity must report positive laboratory findings for ALL COVID-19 testing to the local health department (LHD) where the patient resides until ODH personnel successfully completes the file validation for your laboratory or facility to submit electronically. This may be completed by faxing the confidential case report form or the Human Infection with 2019 Novel Coronavirus Case Report Form to the LHD.  To identify the LHD where the patient resides, you may use the LHD address tool.  If the patient resides out of state, you must report those results to the appropriate state health department where that person resides.  
     
  • Negative COVID-19 test results should NOT be reported to the LHD; however, the reporting entity must maintain and prepare to send ODH an electronic file of all negative COVID-19 testing results, as of October 20, 2020. This file must be reported to ODH using the selected electronic submission method once ODH personnel completes the file validation for your laboratory or facility.
     
  • CMS-certified long-term care facilities shall submit point-of-care SARS-CoV-2 testing data, including antigen testing data, to CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).  This requirement to submit data to CDC’s NHSN applies only to CMS-certified long-term care facilities. Test data submitted to NHSN will be reported to appropriate state and local health departments using standard electronic laboratory messages. CMS-certified LTC facilities may still connect to ODH directly to submit line level results electronically until NHSN connection is achieved. Other types of LTC facilities may voluntarily report testing data in NHSN to fulfill state reporting requirements described above or connect to ODH directly to submit line level results electronically as described above.

Technical Specifications