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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • First, he was discussing the many benefits of HIT infrastructure interoperability and he brought up "bio-surveillance." I understand the desire for it, but it scares the hell out of me.

    What, specifically, is so scary?

    As I understand it, in the state of Massachusetts, public health monitoring is using Victorian-era monitoring techniques. Each county's public health office periodically gathers up reports of "interesting" cases, which are accumulated weekly and sent back to the State public health o

    • I didn't explain: it's not surveillance like the CDC would do, it's surveillance like the Department of Homeland Security would do. (I didn't get the exact wording of his statement, sorry.)

      On a separate note: I can't believe how much money being poured into electronic health records. Well, I can believe it (there are no shortages of boondoggles in the world) but I'd be very, very surprised if we hit Bush's milestone of nationwide records by 2014.

      • I didn't explain: it's not surveillance like the CDC would do, it's surveillance like the Department of Homeland Security would do.

        Sorry, but I still don't understand what's so scary. CDC needs to be on top of the public health response if, say, there was a smallpox outbreak. But DHS also needs to be hyper-aware about many of the same situations. Doubly so when you start to hear about some of the plans afoot to mobilize the Army/Nat'l Guard to quarantine a locality (like, say, Haskell County, KS [npr.org])

        • Yeah, you're probably right. I think I had my tinfoil anti-Big Brother hat on at the time.

          And I don't think the 10 year timespan is super secret :-) Every president wants to issue an edict as inspirational as JFK's "10 years to the moon", the problem is that they generally don't follow it up with money so it's just another hollow speech.