Disease surveillance is an essential component of any public health system and is used to monitor disease trends over time, detect disease outbreaks, and increase our knowledge of risk factors contributing 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 Health Statistics Unit receives case reports and collects additional detailed information through case investigation. Timely case investigations provide an understanding of disease prevalence within the community and guides appropriate prevention strategies or implementation of protective measures necessary to reduce the spread of disease in the community.
The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department 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.