Mandatory Reporting of Blood Lead Test Results
Reporting of all Blood Lead Test Results to IDPH
Iowa Administrative Code 641 Chapter 1 requires all blood lead test results be reported to the Iowa Department of Public Health Bureau of Environmental Health Services (IDPH EHS) to monitor lead exposure in Iowa. This applies to all blood lead tests for any person living in Iowa, regardless of the person’s age or the test result. Patient address is essential to determine public health jurisdiction and must always be included in the report. Additional information required to be reported includes:
- Patient’s name
- Patient’s marital status
- Capillary or venous blood sample
- Patient’s address
- Patient’s telephone number
- Name and address of health care provider who performed the test
- Patient’s date of birth
- Name and address of laboratory
- Sex of patient
- Collection date
- Whether patient is pregnant
- Race and ethnicity of patient
- Analytical result
- Patient’s employer if occupationally exposed
Who is Required to Report?
- Health care providers, hospitals, and clinical laboratories and other health care facilities are required to report cases of reportable poisonings and conditions. Health care providers are exempted from reporting blood lead testing if the laboratory performing the analysis provides the report containing the required information to the department.
- School nurses are required to report suspected cases of a reportable poisoning or condition occurring among the children supervised.
- School officials, through the principal or superintendent as appropriate, are required to report when there is no school nurse.
- Poison control and poison information centers are required to report inquiries about cases of a reportable poisoning or condition received by them.
- Medical examiners are required to report their investigatory findings of any death which was caused by or otherwise involved a reportable poisoning or condition.
- Occupational nurses are required to report cases of reportable poisonings and conditions.
- Hospitals, health care providers and clinical laboratories outside the state of Iowa shall immediately report any confirmed or suspected case of a reportable poisoning or condition in an Iowa resident.
How to report
All analytical results greater than or equal to 20 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) in a child under the age of 6 years or a pregnant woman shall be reported to the department immediately by telephone at 1-800-972-2026 or fax (515-281-4529). All other analytical results shall be reported to the department at least weekly in one of the following formats:
- Electronic Lab Reporting - Electronic Lab Reporting (ELR) is required by Iowa Code. Since 2014, significant progress toward implementing statewide ELR in Iowa has been achieved; for example:
- The majority of national reference laboratories used by Iowa hospitals and healthcare providers are sending laboratory results by ELR.
- The majority of Iowa hospitals (>75%) pursuing Meaningful Use that perform in-house testing are sending laboratory results by ELR.
- 2017 ELR initial reporting volume reached 95% of all laboratory result based reporting; direct entry into the Iowa Disease Surveillance System (IDSS) and paper based (fax or mail) reporting combined account for the remaining 5%.
- The transition from paper-based reporting prior to 2009 to electronic reporting has reduced the time from known laboratory result to public health intervention from 10+ days to approximately one day on average, which greatly improves timeliness of public health intervention.
For more information on how to submit blood lead test results electronically, visit the Iowa Disease Surveillance System webpage at http://idph.iowa.gov/cade/idss.
- Point of Care (Magellan LeadCare II™) Users – Offices and clinics using the Magellan LeadCare II™ analyzer for onsite testing can use complimentary software available from the company to report. Software information is available at www.magellandx.com/leadcare-products/leadcare-ii/support/reporting-solutions/. Contact Janet Lemmermann at 800-972-2026 prior to submitting reports to IDPH.
- Other Reporting Options - Laboratories unable to do electronic reporting at this time should contact Janet Lemmermann at 800-972-2026 to discuss other temporary options for reporting to IDPH.
Memo to medical providers, clinics, and laboratories
The following August 2020 memo provides a brief summary of the blood lead testing and reporting requirements. Download a copy and post or share with staff responsible for reporting blood lead test results to IDPH.
For more information on lead poisoning contact us at 1-800-972-2026 or online at Contact Us.