HLN Learnings  Newsletter
HLN Joins Public Health Organizations as the Implore Congress to Fund Public Health Surveillance Systems
HLN joined more than eighty organizations, institutions and companies in imploring Congress to fund public health surveillance systems. The appropriations request letters – one to the  House and one to the  Senate  – is seeking $1 billion over ten years (and $100 million in FY 2020) for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) to allow CDC, state, local, tribal, and territorial health departments to move from sluggish, manual, paper-based data collection to seamless, automated, interoperable IT systems and to recruit and retain skilled data scientists to use them.
HLN Conference Update
2019 California Immunization Coalition Summit: HLN is pleased to be participating in this year's summit on April 9, 2019 in Riverside, CA. HLN will be presenting to talks, one on "Immunization Information System Interoperability in the New Health Information Exchange World," and the other on "A Brief History of Immunization Information Systems in the US and California ."
2019 Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) Annual Meeting: HLN is pleased to be a Bronze Sponsor of this meeting which will be held on June 2-6, 2019 in Raleigh, NC. HLN will be giving several talks, including an update on interoperability issues and public health, and a presentation on current aspects of our Reportable Conditions Knowledge Management System (RCKMS) which support electronic case reporting (eCR).
HIMSS19: HLN survived the annual HIMSS conference with over 40,000 of our closest friends attending. We spent most of my time at the Interoperability Showcase since HLN was participating in two of the use cases: Immunization Integration & CDS, featuring our  ICE open source immunization evaluation and forecasting system ; and Opioid Crisis, the Person & the Population, featuring our open source  Reportable Conditions Knowledge Management System  (RCKMS) as a component of electronic case reporting (eCR).
HLN leads the way on public health response to ONC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking  - see details
Updates to ICE Open Source Immunization Forecasting Software
Two new releases of the Immunization Calculation Engine (ICE) were issued over the past few months and the latest version (v 1.16.1 )  is now available. ICE is a state-of-the-art open-source software system that provides clinical decision support (CDS) for immunizations for use in Immunization Information Systems (IIS), Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Personal Health Record (PHR) Systems. These releases implemented some minor logic changes and adjustments to the rules as well as   a new 2-dose Adult Series in the  Hep B  vaccine group with support for the HEPLISAV-B vaccine . 
HLN Discusses Three Recent Federal Reports
On January 15, 2019 the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new report to Congress,  Health Information Technology: Approaches and Challenges to Electronically Matching Patients’ Records across Providers . This report is in response to mandate in the  21st Century Cures Act  for the GAO to study patient matching. To develop this report, GAO reviewed available literature and interviewed more than thirty-five stakeholders (who are not identified) over the course of a year . We have written several  blogs  and a  feature article  on patient matching developments in the US in the past. See our new blog with a public health perspective.

On January 11, 2019 the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released a draft Addendum to the Third Edition of  Registries for Evaluating Patient Outcomes: A User’s Guide called  Tool and Technologies for Registry Interoperability . AHRQ has long written about registries – largely from a research standpoint – and I have been following this from afar for some time. This new guide is focused on helping those who both create and use registries understand the issue surrounding leveraging external data to improve registry completeness, accuracy, and usefulness. See our blog with comments on this report.

In early January the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology ( ONC ) issued its  annual report to Congress for 2018   on the adoption of electronic health records (EHR) and interoperability. This report is required under the  HITECH Act  and is further informed by requirements of the later  21st Century Cures Act . See our short blog on this rather inauspicious report.