SSG Blog

Secure Records Solutions for Public Health Officials

Posted on May 16th, 2022   |   SSG

Public health officials need access to vital records solutions when setting healthcare policy and communicating with the public, including essential information about the population, such as births, deaths, marriages/dissolutions and other ancillary events that can affect the implementation of these policies. They depend on data from a wide range of sources, including various state and local departments and organizations, but many of them use disconnected information systems that slow down the data collection process. This hurtle makes it difficult for health officials to access the information they need to implement policies and communicate with the public. Without an updated records system at the state and local level, officials may have to rely on outdated or inaccurate information when setting policies, which can leave them out of step with the changing demographics of the population. 

Why Public Health Officials Need a Centralized, Confidential, Secure Vitals Information System

The U.S. government is made up of thousands of state and local organizations that are responsible for collecting data on the population. But each has its own way of documenting and reporting information about the public. This results in a disjointed electronic records system that can be difficult to navigate. Far too often vital information gets lost in the shuffle, which can compromise public health officials’ ability to implement policy and communicate with the public. 

It is often up to public health organizations to collect and disseminate this information, but this can be time-consuming and challenging if the data is coming from multiple sources or the office is using an outdated records system. Workers at the state and local level may have to manually upload vital records into the program. They may also struggle to interpret the information coming from the state if the organization is using a different system. For example, a person’s sex may be listed as “M” in one county and “Male” in another. 

Officials need to access and analyze this information as it changes in real-time, especially during times of crisis. For example, public and private healthcare organizations need to accurately track the number of deaths related to a particular disease. 

State and local agencies can use automated reporting tools to create a centralized, confidential, and secure vital records system to increase access to this information across the state. The system should comply with HIPAA, FERPA, and other public sector regulations and security standards to ensure this information remains secure. But organizations shouldn’t have to compromise safety to increase accessibility or avoid information bottlenecks.

Users with the appropriate credentials should be able to access the system from separate locations without exposing sensitive information. The data in the system should also update in real-time across devices to keep everyone on the same page. Officials can also use this technology to assign tasks to workers or adjust priorities as the situation evolves. 

State and local agencies should look for ways to increase the flow of information without compromising security to ensure public health officials have access to the latest vital records. Replacing outdated, disconnected systems with a more centralized public health software can help improve healthcare policy at the state and local level.