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Electronic reporting systems improve the quality and timeliness of the surveillance of communicable diseases. The aim of this paper is to present the process of the implementation and introduction of an electronic reporting system for the surveillance of communicable diseases in Lithuania. The project which started in 2002 was performed in collaboration between Lithuania and Sweden and was facilitated by the parallel process of adapting the surveillance system to European Union (EU) standards. The Lotus-based software, SmittAdm, was acquired from the Department of Communicable Diseases Control and Prevention of Stockholm County in Sweden and adopted for Lithuania, resulting in the Lithuanian software, ULISAS. A major advantage of this program for Lithuania was the possibility to work offline. The project was initiated in the two largest counties in Lithuania where ULISAS had been installed and put in use by January 2005. The introduction was gradual, the national level was connected to the system during late 2005, and all remaining counties were included during 2006 and 2007. The reporting system remains to be evaluated concerning timeliness and completeness of the surveillance. Further development is needed, for example the inclusion of all physicians and laboratories and an alert system for outbreaks. The introduction of this case-based, timely electronic reporting system in Lithuania allows better reporting of data to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) compared to the former reporting system with paper-based, aggregated data.


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