A pandemic demands improved hospital and public health data integration

Since the beginning of the pandemic, hospitals, and public health organizations across the United States have struggled to keep up with systemic disruptions related to COVID-19. Governmental regulations related to the pandemic have been changing as quickly as our understanding of the disease itself. Due to the long-term projected impact of the pandemic, healthcare systems and public health agencies must coordinate efforts now to maintain data integrity and accessibility.

Frequent changes to requirements, such as the new data reporting requirements to the U.S. Health and Human Services instead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), compound the burdens already placed on the hospitals and state public health agencies. Creating such a complex regulatory environment, without adequate financial support, causes inconsistent application of the new regulations from organization to organization.

Opinion by Soumitra Bhuyan and Amber Owens, President, New Jersey Health Information Management Association, Becker’s Hospital Review, August 13, 2020