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The Situational Awareness for Novel Epidemic Response Project (SANER PROJECT)

Improving real-time situational awareness of health care system capacity in the COVID-19 pandemic and future public health emergencies.

What is the SANER PROJECT?

The Situational Awareness Network for Emergencies (SANER) Project to simplify public health reporting for hospitals through shared interoperability standards based on HL7® Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR)®. The SANER Project helps health systems and public health officials across the state of Texas find information on hospital admissions, capacity, and other information critical to responding to health emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic.  The SANER Project is an open-source effort to streamline and accelerate real-time transmission of de-identified data among health care facilities, critical infrastructure, and governmental response authorities during public health emergencies and disasters.

The Texas Health Services Authority (THSA), HASA (a health information exchange in Texas covering multiple regions), and Audacious Inquiry received funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) focused on  increasing data sharing between jurisdictional Immunization Information Systems (IISs) and Health Information Exchanges (HIEs)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) awarded federal funding to THSA under the Strengthening the Technical Advancement and Readiness of Public Health via Health Information Exchange (STAR HIE Program) to develop the SANER Project in Texas. The STAR HIE Program aims to strengthen existing state and local HIE infrastructure so that public health agencies are able to better access, share, and use health information as well as support communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

THSA, HASA (a health information exchange in Texas covering multiple regions), and Audacious Inquiry also received funding from HHS focused on increasing data sharing between jurisdictional Immunization Information Systems (IISs) and Health Information Exchanges (HIEs)

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SANER PROJECT FEATURES

Reduce Reporting Burden

Reduce manual reporting burden on health care facilities, and public health authorities, and reduces potential error.

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Uniformity Comparison

Using a standard specification allows a uniform comparison across facilities, states, and regions. 

Real-time information

Automatic extraction allows for real-time information regarding facility capacity that can inform operational decisions. 

SANER PROJECT FAQs

Use the accordions to learn about frequently asked questions about the SANER Project. These questions cover a wide range of topics. If your question can not be answer please contact our team with the button below.

What is the goal of the SANER Project?

The SANER Project is developing a workable, quickly deployable approach for healthcare situational awareness. This approach will provide immediate benefit to hospitals and healthcare facilities who have been asked by the state and federal agencies to report hospital capacity, lab testing results, and other critical data points. This work can be instrumental for long-term use in future disasters and public health emergencies by creating the infrastructure required for real-time data sharing from clinical settings to local, state, and federal public health authorities.

Who can participate?

The Texas SANER PROJECT Pilot will run through September of 2022. THSA is actively recruiting hospital participants to establish proof-of-concept for this method of data exchange. There are several ways for a hospital to participate in the pilot:

  1. Hospitals that are interested in helping to shape the SANER FHIR standard may join the Policy Advisory and/or Technical Advisory Groups which meet once every two weeks.
  2. Hospitals that do not have the technical infrastructure required to deploy the SANER App can provide a CSV file of situational awareness data to identify if the SANER Server can incorporate the format into consolidated measure reports and a dashboard (beginning summer of 2021).
  3. Hospitals can help pilot test the SANER App and provide feedback to the developers for ongoing improvements (beginning fall of 2021).

How can hospitals benefit?

Hospitals participating in the pilot will receive a free copy of the open source SANER App being developed for this project. Hospitals that have not yet automated data exchange should experience a decrease in staff time required to meet reporting requirements for COVID-19 response. Finally, as a candidate national and international standard, SANER is designed to be a re-usable platform for the collection of new measures leading to a reduced need for custom software development for hospitals.

How can SANER Project benefit Texas?

State public health authorities would receive more standardized data from Texas’ 750 hospitals thus improving its data synthesis, analysis, and visualization capabilities. In addition, potential errors associated with manual data collection (such as time delays and re-keying errors) should be reduced or eliminated.Outside of the COVID-19 response, automated electronic reporting has widespread benefits for health care situational awareness in other more routine regional surge events that require patient load balancing across hospitals and/or hospital systems. These events may include, for example, large structure fires or traffic accidents, surges due to seasonal flu, or hurricane evacuations.