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Search Tags: Power of Information
Big changes are underway in the health care record industry. The paper medical records are going digital. And the U.S. government is helping by awarding grants of almost $1.2 billion. This will help hospitals and health care providers establish and use electronic health records. But the problem is finding one universal electronic system that is compatible with all other systems and offers high levels of security. The governments is creating 70 health information technology centers that will aide health care institutions.
Openness and transparency are the buzz words in the new Obama Administration. And now with the help of USA dot gov., you can find previously misplaced federal documents online. The new site also offers tips on replacing flooded or burnt documents, as well as links to how to back up documents electronically. The site bases its recommendations on actual experience gained during recovery operations following a fire at the Washington National Records Center in Suitland, MD in 2001.
A decade long effort by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to share information between their Electronic Health Records systems is finally starting to bear some fruit. While VA and DOD are now able to exchange patients' social history data, share physical exam data and ensure high bandwidth for secure network gateways, GAO says they need to define more quantifiable goals. The two departments expect by September 30th to be able to transmit periodic health assessment data stored in the DOD electronic health record over to VA.
A government union is making its case to Congress to re-establish Environmental Protection Agency research libraries. An EPA Local of AFGE hosted a recent breakfast to discuss the closures resulting from Bush Administration budget cuts. In the closing process, hundreds of paper files were lost or thrown out. When the Government Accountability Office investigated, they recommended a moratorium on future closures until the all files could be digitized. EPA CIO at the time Molly O'Neil said she didn't know what was lost because the EPA hadn't done an inventory.
The city of Chicago is out almost 1-million-dollars after poor record keeping allowed thousands of pills, vials and medical tools to spoil. The internal auditors from the Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman office said poor tracking left them unable to determine what happened to 92,000 doses of 18 vaccines. Staff at the warehouse "kept no records whatsoever of the controlled substances," said the Inspector.
Peer to peer computer file sharing may be coming to an end. Congressman Edolphus Towns plans to introduce a bill banning the use of peer-to-peer software on all government and contractor computers and networks. Possible information leaks about the electronics for the president's Marine One make such a ban necessary. Additionally, the GAO is calling for a more secure network to share digitized data. The Oversight and Government Reform Committee will continue hearings on this after Congress returns from its August recess.
National Archives and Records Administration has a huge task ahead in storing data from the former and all current Administrations and making it searchable and retrievable. According to the Government Accountability Office, as of late April, only 3 percent of all presidential records from the Bush Administration have been saved into the Electronic Records Archive. NARA says they plan on ingesting the remainder of the records before the end of the year. GAO also noted that NARA's archival system has no back up. Archives says their contingency plan is under final review.