GAO sees long road to sharing public health IT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Homeland Security Department are pursuing related public health IT initiatives to create a national health IT strategy and federal architecture, but there is little integration between the agencies' efforts.

CDC needs to develop and adopt consistent standards to encourage interoperability for data sharing and coordinate activities with states and local agencies, the Government Accountability Office said in a report released earlier this month.

DHS should align its public health IT initiatives with those at HHS, including adoption of data and communications standards, said David Powner, director, GAO IT management issues.

CDC's public health network is at various stages of implementation. 'As a whole, however, it remains years away from fully achieving its planned improvement to the public health infrastructure,' Powner said in the report.

To read the GAO report, go to www.gcn.com and enter 449 in the GCN.com/box.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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