Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Health Information Technology, School of Paramedical, Ilam University of Medical Sciences, Ilam, Iran

2 Department of Health Information Technology, Abadan Faculty of Medical Sciences, Abadan, Iran

3 Department of Laboratory Sciences, Abadan Faculty of Medical Sciences, Abadan, Iran

4 Department of Health Information Technology and Management, School of Allied Medical Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


INTRODUCTION: The 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID‑19) is a major global health concern. Joint
efforts for effective surveillance of COVID‑19 require immediate transmission of reliable data. In this
regard, a standardized and interoperable reporting framework is essential in a consistent and timely
manner. Thus, this research aimed at to determine data requirements towards interoperability.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this cross‑sectional and descriptive study, a combination of
literature study and expert consensus approach was used to design COVID‑19 Minimum Data
Set (MDS). A MDS checklist was extracted and validated. The definitive data elements of the MDS
were determined by applying the Delphi technique. Then, the existing messaging and data standard
templates (Health Level Seven‑Clinical Document Architecture [HL7‑CDA] and SNOMED‑CT) were
used to design the surveillance interoperable framework.
RESULTS: The proposed MDS was divided into administrative and clinical sections with three and
eight data classes and 29 and 40 data fields, respectively. Then, for each data field, structured data
values along with SNOMED‑CT codes were defined and structured according HL7‑CDA standard.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The absence of effective and integrated system for COVID‑19
surveillance can delay critical public health measures, leading to increased disease prevalence and
mortality. The heterogeneity of reporting templates and lack of uniform data sets hamper the optimal
information exchange among multiple systems. Thus, developing a unified and interoperable reporting
framework is more effective to prompt reaction to the COVID‑19 outbreak.


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