COVID-19 Update: Data sharing requests and orders for hospitals


Recently, health care providers – in particular hospitals – have been requested by the federal government to share data related to the treatment of COVID-19 (coronavirus) patients and have been ordered by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to report equipment inventory information.

Federal data sharing request
On March 29, 2020, Vice President Pence issued a letter to all hospitals in the U.S. asking them to report data to federal agencies regarding COVID-19.

Specifically, hospitals are requested to report in-house COVID-19 testing results to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The reports are made on a standardized template and emailed to The reports are not to include testing sent to commercial laboratories. 

Additionally, hospitals are requested to report data on bed and ventilator capacity to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Among other data elements, hospitals are to report (1) the number of confirmed/suspected COVID-19 patients who are in the emergency department and in inpatient beds, (2) how many patients are being mechanically ventilated and (3) the total number of ventilators available and the number of ventilators in use. Reports are made using the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) COVID-19 module

Ohio’s data sharing order and requests
On March 31, 2020, Director Acton ordered hospitals and other providers in Ohio to share certain data with ODH. 

Under the order, weekly online reporting of ventilator inventory by any entity in the supply chain, from creation through end-use, is mandated. Included in who must report are physicians, clinics, hospitals and other medical facilities. In addition, the mandatory reporting requires an inventory report of other devices including CPAP and BiPAP machines, anesthetic machines and various treatment masks and tubing. Inventory is to be reported online at each Wednesday by 5:00 p.m. The order requires that hospitals also continue to report daily ventilator data through the Ohio Hospital Association reporting tool.

In addition to the mandatory reporting, ODH notes the following additional reporting that is requested or otherwise already required:

  • Ohio Health Care Provider Staffing Survey: Providers have been requested to complete a survey regarding COVID-19 staffing in order to identify unaffiliated personnel (people not already being counted by hospitals) who could a support potential hospital surge from COVID-19.
  • Electronic Death Certificate Reporting: ODH also reminded physicians to utilize the electronic death registration system (EDRS) to ensure death certificates are created in a timely manner during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ohio physicians have the ability to electronically complete and sign/certify the cause of death for Ohio records in the EDRS.

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