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New GAO Report Chides HHS About Situation Awareness System

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New GAO Report Chides HHS About Situation Awareness System

In September 2017 GAO released a new report, Public Health Information Technology: HHS Has Made Little Progress toward Implementing Enhanced Situational Awareness Network Capabilit ...

In September 2017 GAO released a new report, Public Health Information Technology: HHS Has Made Little Progress toward Implementing Enhanced Situational Awareness Network Capabilities. In particular, GAO pointed out lapses in completing Congressionally-mandated requirements for this area including the definition of minimal data elements required and collaboration with state, local, and tribal public health officials on the development of standards and procedures to ensure proper data collection. In addition, the GAO chided HHS for not following its own information technology project management methodology in the planning and execution of this project.

Situational awareness has been a conspicuous topic ever since the 9/11 attacks and the anthrax scare that followed shortly thereafter. But since the initial flurry of public health preparedness funds in the ensuing several years this topic has not had a high priority at CDC nor the funding necessary to implement it successfully. Perhaps this report will serve as a catalyst for the new administration to provide the funding and leadership to fulfill Congress’ intentions in this area.

HLN Participates in 12th Annual Stewards of Change Institute National Symposium

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HLN Participates in 12th Annual Stewards of Change Institute National Symposium

On June 19-20, 2017, Dr. Noam Arzt, President of HLN, participated by invitation in the 12th Annual Stewards of Change Institute National Symposium on behalf of the Healthcare Info ...

On June 19-20, 2017, Dr. Noam Arzt, President of HLN, participated by invitation in the 12th Annual Stewards of Change Institute National Symposium on behalf of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). This symposium provided a unique opportunity to discuss key issues in data management and interoperability with a small, but diverse set of stakeholders across the health and human services. The symposium included a particular focus on issues surrounding the current opioid epidemic. In addition, a new National Interoperability Collaborative (NIC) was launched (with funding from the Kresge Foundation) to spearhead information sharing regarding interoperability strategies and activities. Though there was no CDC participation at this symposium, there was a very nice briefing from several representatives of the Department of Health and Human Services including the new National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Dr. Don Rucker.

This symposium represents a welcomed expansion of the Stewards of Change focus from human services into the health domain. This expanded conversation will allow public health to participate more fully as the shift to our collective concern about wellness requires a more holistic view of people, their requirements, and their circumstances. We look forward to continuing engagement with this community and an opportunity to bring what we have learned in public health about interoperability into this new forum.

Preparing for 2017: Four Important Reports

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Preparing for 2017: Four Important Reports

With so much transition ahead of us at the Federal, state, and local levels in 2017, it is important to begin to plan for what the Health IT landscapes will look like for the comin ...

With so much transition ahead of us at the Federal, state, and local levels in 2017, it is important to begin to plan for what the Health IT landscapes will look like for the coming year (and beyond). Several key reports have come out – mostly from government sources – which are worth serious consideration for any Health IT planner:

HHS Public Health 3.0 White Paper: This seminal paper sets the stage for ongoing maturation of the public health infrastructure and capability at all levels of government to continue to assure the public’s health.

ONC 2017 Interoperability Standards Advisory: Now in its third year, this material gets longer and longer, and more and more complex each time. The current incarnation is a navigable website chock full of standards, though you can still download a PDF by clicking on the “2017 ISA Reference Edition” or “ISA 2017” links.

ONC 2016 Report to Congress on Health IT Progress: This HITECH-required report updates Congress about progress during the past year. While it is a really good summary of recent and current activities and initiatives, it only deals with what is really going on (or not going on) on the ground in a cursory way.

National Governors Association Road Map for States to Improve Health Information Flow Between Providers: A very detailed report aimed at State policy makers with clear guidance – and lots of examples – to try to move interoperability forward at the State level.

There are no easy answers here, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the information presented in these reports. But they cannot be ignored and can help form the basis of a solid organizational or governmental strategy.

Dr. Arzt Appointed to ONC HITPC/HITSC Public Health Task Force

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Dr. Arzt Appointed to ONC HITPC/HITSC Public Health Task Force

Dr. Noam Arzt, president and founder of HLN, has been appointed to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Health Information Technology (ONC) Poli ...

Dr. Noam Arzt, president and founder of HLN, has been appointed to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Health Information Technology (ONC) Policy Committee (HITPC)/Health Information Technology Standards Committee (HITSC) Public Health Task Force. It’s overall charge is to, “make recommendations to help inform public health issues and challenges related to health IT.” More specifically, the Task Force will initially, “Make specific recommendations to better assist in the standardization of pregnancy status data, clinical decision support in health IT systems, and case management in public health settings—which are important components to addressing many public health challenges.”

Task for recommendations to the HITPS/HITSC are expected in April 2017.

New White Paper on Effective RFP Development

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New White Paper on Effective RFP Development

Many organizations – public and private – use formal competitive bidding instruments to procure technical products and services. This may be done by law, policy or practice. The dr ...

Many organizations – public and private – use formal competitive bidding instruments to procure technical products and services. This may be done by law, policy or practice. The driving reasons are to help ensure both clear understanding of the organization’s requirements and expectations, as well as fairness in the marketplace to all potential respondents who wish to do business with the organization. HLN’s new white paper,  Effective Technical RFP Development: A Guide for Jurisdictions and Other Organizations, offers some practical advice for organizations issuing competitive solicitations.