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Chair:  Craig Newman

Scribe: Joginder Madra





Austin Kreisler Leidos
Chrissy Miner CDC
Cindy Bush CDC/NCHS
Craig Newman Altarum
Crystal Snare WA DOH
Daniel Rutz Epic
Danny Wise Allscripts
Devann Kirkpatrick TN Dept of Health
Jim Jellison Public Health Informatics Institute
Joginder Madra Madra Consulting Inc.
John Stamm Epic
Justine Maxwell TN DOH
Kathy Walsh LabCorp
Laura Rappleye Altarum
Melanie Epstein-Corbin CA Dept Public Health

Minutes Approved as Presented 

This is to approve minutes via general consent. "You have received the minutes. Are there any corrections to the minutes? (pause) Hearing none, if there are no objections, the minutes are approved as printed."

Agenda Topics

Agenda Outline

Agenda Item

Meeting Minutes from Discussion

1Welcome, agenda review, meeting minute approval -5 min


Future of Contact Tracing (Dan Rutz) - 20 min

General discussion around the process of contact tracing and what jurisdictions are doing to supplement traditional methods as part of their Covid response:

  • Traditionally a manual process done by Public Health
  • Alberta is also using TraceTogether as a contact tracing app -  TraceTogether is also used in other jurisdictions such as Singapore. 
    • "If an Albertan tests positive for COVID-19, a Contact Tracer from Alberta Health Services (AHS) will get in touch with the infected person using contact information provided at the testing center. This process does not change from existing AHS leading practices.

      Contact Tracers are individuals who work for AHS. They will contact an infected person to determine others who may have been exposed to the infected person over the previous 21 days.

      When an infected person is contacted by a Contact Tracer, the infected person will be asked if they use the ABTraceTogether app. If the infected person has the app, they will be asked to voluntarily upload the encrypted data from the app to Alberta Health Services. This information will be critical to help increase the speed and effectiveness of Alberta’s COVID-19 response.

      Once AHS receives the encrypted data, AHS Contact Tracers will be able to use that information to reach the other app users who have had close contact with the infected person."

    • Washington state (and other jurisdictions, though that wasn’t discussed on the call) are using RedCap for some contact tracing, and are considering a switch to the Microsoft contact tracing app if it fulfills the same features as RedCap, and are considering adding use of the Google/Apple Bluetooth app for passive privacy-preserving contact tracing before a person is positive (this is similar to, but a different product from Singapore and Australia’s app that Alberta is using).
  • Some discussion about "eCR Now" (link to webinar: but unclear if there are any jurisdictions with concrete plans to implement.
    • From Laura Conn:
      • The eCR Now FHIR app is for use and integration in EHR products that don’t currently have eCR capability.  The output of the app connects to the existing eCR infrastructure so there is nothing that jurisdictions do to implement it.  The work they have done to author in RCKMS and connect to AIMS for eCR is already in place.  The FHIR app was tested in the Connectathon last week and we want to share about its success there.  It looks like the PHWG agenda is full for May 21 so we have added updates on eCR implementation and a report out from the Connectathon to the agenda on May 28.  But would be happy to do this May 21 if agenda time opens up.

    • From Crystal Snare:
      • Many jurisdictions are actively implementing (including WA) and Epic is live with public health in approximately 25 jurisdictions
      • Good standards adherence including making mapping to standard codesets is something that vendors can do to support PH.
      • In addition, I encouraged vendors other than Epic to implement ‘eCR now’ ASAP.
  • Some discussion about using patient demographic and contact information from the electronic lab requisition / lab results as a mechanism to gather information to be used for contact tracing.
    • From Catherine Staes
      • ELR and eCR are complementary, but it is a challenge when we expect the ELR to contain content beyond its domain.  When additional data requirements are added to ELR, it means that that information needs to be communicated from the clinical system to the lab and there are challenges with ensuring the lab messages have a place to put the information, and then the lab system must store the information. And there are provenance issues as the lab is then reporting information from another setting. The ELR is the definitive lab data local health departments need, and the eCR or manually-generated case reports provide the more complete and definitive info about demographics, encounters, ICU/vent etc.   Both have value. 
 Adjourned at 16:36 (eastern)

Supporting Documents

Outline Reference

Supporting Document