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TB Notes Newsletter

No. 4, 2005

Information Technology Update

Introduction. Continuing with the full integration of our National TB Surveillance into the Public Health Information Network (PHIN) and National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS), the TB Surveillance Program Area Module (TB PAM) is expected to be deployed for beta testing during calendar year 2006. Deployment of the TB PAM is being preceded by the development of software requirement specifications (SRS) version 2.0, PAM Development Platform (PDP) for TB surveillance, Health Level Seven (HL7) messaging implementation guide, and the TB PAM Data Migration Plan version 1.2.

Software Requirements Specification. The TB PAM is an example of CDC’s vision of a modular system of interoperable components for maintenance and exchange of public health information. The TB PAM software requirements specification (SRS) v. 2.0 is a document that defines the functional and nonfunctional requirements for the TB PAM. Most of the requirements in this document are in the form of use cases, actions, and their associated responses that provide a visible or measurable outcome. (Use cases describe the sequence of interactions between the software system and the external user.) The TB PAM SRS includes all the requirements for the initial release of the TB PAM, and can be reviewed on the TB Web-Board,, in the NEDSS TB (Surveillance) PAM conference.

PAM Development Platform. To better facilitate the initial release of a fully functional TB PAM, the current version of the PAM development platform (PDP) is being designed and developed to link the TB PAM and NEDSS Base System (NBS). Also, in response to our partner organizations’ requests for modular, reusable program area functionality, the PDP will operate in parallel with NBS and allow the TB PAM to function as a stand-alone system. The PDP will support the move to open messaging formats such as HL7 version 3 and create a platform that will support the incremental implementation of NEDSS releases. 

Message Implementation Guides (MIGs). HL7 standards are the prevailing industry standards for communicating clinic and laboratory data in the form of electronic messages; CDC has chosen to work with HL7 as the primary source for interface standards. It is therefore necessary to develop message implementation guides based around specific use cases. CDC documentation to support public health interfaces are located at the Public Health Information Network (PHIN) website,  under the topic of architecture. Information regarding the HL7 standard is located at the website, in the HL7 Resource Library. Upon completion, the TB message implementation guide will provide assistance in creating a standard message to accomplish the objective of reporting RVCT data to CDC for states using a TB surveillance application other than the TB PAM.

TB Surveillance PAM Data Migration Plan. This plan is a document that will outline the process of moving legacy (i.e., current and historical) TB Information Management System (TIMS) data to the TB PAM using PHIN standards. Early preparation and monitoring of this process is essential to ensure successful data migration. The following steps are recommended for each site prior to using the TB PAM:

  1. Premigration data assessment: Identify data issues to be addressed and to confirm what is necessary to ensure successful migration of TIMS data
  2. Premigration data cleansing: Ensure the integrity, validity, and accuracy as much as possible of the TIMS data to be migrated
  3. Mock migration: Test the migration procedures and benchmark the time required for each migration task by migrating partial amounts of data
  4. Pilot migration: Similar to the mock migration step, except that it would be complete end-to-end
  5. Live migration: Execute full-scale migration in the production environment
  6. Postmigration validation: Prepare and review migration validation reports, spot check records, and reconcile any unexpected variations
  7. Postmigration activities: Perform final cleanup activities and monitor live activities

Conclusion. Successful deployment of the TB PAM will be enabled by the development of the software requirements specification, the PAM development platform for TB surveillance, the Health Level Seven (HL7) messaging implementation guide, and the TB Surveillance PAM data migration plan. Web-based conference calls are held at least semiannually to provide state TB programs with an overview of future TB reporting in the PHIN/NEDSS environment, current CDC activities, and suggested state activities for the transition process.

—Submitted by Philip Baptiste, MEd
Div of TB Elimination


Released October 2008
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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