Disease surveillance is at the heart of a public health system. It is used to monitor disease trends over time, to detect disease outbreaks, and to increase our knowledge of risk factors that contribute to disease development.
Under Texas law, health care providers, hospitals, laboratories, schools, and others are required to report cases of nearly 80 different diseases and health conditions to local and state health officials.
The Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit receives case reports and collects additional detailed information through case investigation. These reports help public health professionals understand the incidence of diseases in the community, and guide appropriate prevention strategies or or protective measures to reduce the spread of disease in the community.
Austin Public Health will comply with all federal and state laws that pertain to any aspect of the clinical practices or business procedures of the Department. In particular, privacy and security rules relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), along with related state laws, are integral to matters of privacy, medical records, the confidentiality of communications, and other topics addressed throughout these policies and procedures.