About half of the nation’s more than 5,000 hospital laboratories were reporting notifiable conditions to public health agencies using electronic communications protocols as of last April, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While only 479 were using the electronic messaging format required for meaningful use of electronic health records as of last July, that’s up from fewer than 200 in 2013, CDC said. In addition, more than 1,300 hospital labs were testing meaningful-use compliant electronic reporting and more than 3,000 have registered their intent to send electronic reports to public health agencies under the meaningful use program, CDC said. Electronic lab reporting is a CDC priority for improving public health surveillance. Not all public health agencies are able to receive electronic messages using the meaningful use format.