DPH reminding physicians to use SendSS to report STDs

The office of Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner & State Health Officer Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H, distributed the following letter on February 18…

Dear Colleague:

Disease reporting is the core of public health practice – identifying and monitoring outbreaks, documenting disease trends, and providing critical information to support public health interventions. To that end, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has recently made improvements to the SendSS STD Module so that STD reporting will be easier and more efficient.

Many sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a significant health problem in Georgia, with 91,731 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis reported in 2018. From 2017 to 2018, rates of all reportable STDs except gonorrhea increased, including record numbers of congenital syphilis cases – a very serious but preventable consequence of the STD epidemic.

All Georgia physicians, laboratories, and other health care providers are required by law (O.C.G.A 31-12-2) to report patients with the conditions listed under Notifiable Disease Reporting Requirements, including STDs, to DPH within the timeframes prescribed.

Georgia health care providers should use the State Electronic Notifiable Disease Surveillance System to report STDs. The 1-866-PUB-HLTH reporting mechanism is intended for emergencies or urgent situations rather than routine reporting.

The improvements to the SendSS STD Module include development of a “minimum report,” auto-populating certain data fields, and integrating electronic laboratory reporting.

If you have any questions about STD reporting, please contact Latasha Terry, STD Director, at latasha.terry@dph.ga.gov, or Elizabeth Burkhardt, STD Epidemiologist, at elizabeth.burkhardt@dph.ga.gov.

Thank you for all you do to prevent disease and promote the health of all Georgians.

Sincerely,

Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H.
Commissioner & State Health Officer
Georgia Department of Public Health