Authors: Leitmeyer KC, Espinosa , Broberg EK, Struelens MJ, ECDC National Focal Points laboratory e-reporting survey group members
Electronic laboratory-based data reporting has been shown to be an effective and efficient method to automate and improve the timeliness and completeness of communicable diseases and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance at the healthcare institution level, as well as the national public health level [1–10].
The routine use of digital laboratory data for surveillance purposes has been reported from European countries such as Denmark [11,12] and France [6,13] However, the extent to which such automated laboratory data reporting methods from clinical diagnostic laboratories to national surveillance systems are used has not been mapped systematically in the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA).
As a part of the monitoring of EU/EEA national laboratory capacities for public health surveillance and control of infectious diseases, 17 of 30 EU/EEA countries reported, that in 2016, their surveillance networks of clinical laboratories reported microbiology data for at least one disease by machine-to-machine (M2M) upload to a central national public health database . The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) Public Health Microbiology Strategy  foresees that ECDC will, in synergy with relevant European Commission-supported eHealth initiatives, undertake projects to identify and disseminate solutions for automated (M2M) transfer of microbiology data between laboratory and surveillance information systems from the local to national and EU/EEA surveillance levels. The ECDC strategy proposes as target that in 2022, at least 90% of EU/EEA countries will be using automated electronic notification of clinical laboratory data to national surveillance programmes.
The primary objective of this survey was to investigate the modalities and scope of clinical microbiology laboratory data reporting for the national surveillance of EU-notifiable diseases and AMR across Europe. It also assessed the public health use of this information for rapid threat detection and timely response.
Bulletin Europeen Sur Les Maladies Transmissibles = European Communicable Disease Bulletin