The United States is continuing its slow emergence from a nation-wide shut down imposed to slow down the spread of COVID-19. Most states have started to reopen, with bars, restaurants, and many workplaces starting to fill. As people begin to spend more time together again, it is critically important that public health agencies do everything they can to help prevent further spread of the infection and continue to monitor the level of infection within the population.
On June 10, 2020 the US Senate released a white paper titled “Preparing for the Next Pandemic” under the signature of Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. The white paper has five recommendations to address future pandemics based on lessons learned from COVID-19 and the past 20 years of pandemic planning. “The five recommendations…along with a series of questions at the end of this white paper, are intended to elicit recommendations that Congress can consider and act on this year,” Alexander said in a statement, adding that “I am inviting comments, responses, and any additional recommendations for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to consider. This feedback will be shared with my colleagues, both Democrat and Republican.” This feedback from the public will be accepted until June 26, 2020 and can be submitted to PandemicPreparedness@help.senate.gov.
On February 12, 2020, HLN released a new version (v1.22.1) of the Immunization Calculation Engine (ICE). ICE is a state-of-the-art open-source software system that provides clinical decision support for immunizations for use in Immunization Information Systems (IIS), Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Personal Health Record (PHR) Systems.
HLN attended the Association of Immunization Managers (AIM) 2019 Leadership in Action Conference in New Orleans, LA on December 10-11. Bringing together over 200 Immunization Program Managers, staff, and associated non-profits and vendors, the conference provided leadership training to attendees in a number of areas as well as regional sessions to discuss issues important to Immunization Program activities. AIM also celebrated its 20th anniversary at the event. HLN was again a Bronze sponsor of the conference. “We feel it’s critically important to continue to support events such as these,” commented Dr. Noam Arzt, president of HLN who attended the meeting, “It’s essential that public health officials have the opportunity to discuss issues in common, and to learn from each other.”
In November 2019 the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a new report, Top Management and Performance Challenges Facing HHS. Divided into six major sections, this report reviews the OIG’s observations with respect to financial integrity of HHS programs, value and quality, protecting the health and safety of beneficiaries as well as the public at large, harnessing data to achieve these goals, and working across government.