Welcome to the State of California 

How to Become a Sentinel Provider

What data do sentinel providers collect? How and to whom are data reported?

Sentinel providers report the total number of patient visits each week and number of patient visits for influenza-like illness by age group (0-4 years, 5-24 years, 25-64 years, >65 years). These data are transmitted once a week via the Internet, a touch-tone telephone, or fax. Most providers report that it takes them less than 30 minutes a week to compile and report their data. In addition, sentinel providers can submit specimens from a subset of patients for virus isolation free of charge.

Who can be an Influenza Sentinel Provider?

Providers of any specialty (e.g., family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, infectious diseases) in any type of practice (e.g., private practice, public health clinic, urgent care center, emergency room, university student health center) are eligible to be sentinel providers. In addition, sentinel providers may be physicians, nurse practitioners or physician assistants.

How do I enroll in the program?

Fill out the Sentinel Provider Enrollment Form and send it to the Immunization Branch, Influenza Sentinel Provider Program by:

  • fax to 916-440-5984, or
  • mail to 850 Marina Bay Parkway, Bldg. P-Second Floor, Richmond, CA 94804


For more information about enrolling in the Sentinel Provider Program, contact the Immunization Branch at InfluenzaSurveillance@cdph.ca.gov or 510-620-3737.  For questions regarding specimen submission and available testing, please contact VRDL at 510-307-8585 or flu@cdph.ca.gov.

Last modified on: 9/27/2016 10:21 AM