Tips for Providers Drawing the Short Straw for Reporting to Public Health
Healthcare providers, healthcare facilities and laboratories each have a duty to report notifiable conditions to public health. The reportable conditions and responsibilities overlap in most cases between these three groups. Often it is assumed that the laboratory will report a condition or disease to public health, but that is not always the case. Here are the areas where you, as a healthcare provider, must take on the primary responsibility for reporting to public health.
- When you make a clinical diagnosis and do not order any case-defining labs, or
- When the patient has an immediately notifiable condition, or
- When you are using an out-of-state send-out lab, or
- When there is information about an outbreak or cluster of illness, or
- When there is an intervention needed outside of your involvement with the patient
- Antibiotic prophylaxis of family or other contacts is needed and you are not able to manage this
- Impact with the patient’s employer, for example a restaurant or childcare
- Exposure of others in another setting like a school, long-term care facility or during travel
For more information about what, how and when to report to public health, see Notifiable Conditions: Health Care Providers.