The data hospitals collect on coronavirus patients will now be redirected to the Trump administration instead of first being sent to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
What We Know:
- The unexpected change of how hospital data is now being handled raises questions about the Trump administration’s choices. Startled health officials fear the move could result in less transparent data, being withheld from the general public and possibly politicized due to the administration downplaying the pandemic threat since it began.
- According to the New York Times, the assistant secretary for public affairs at the department, Michael Caputo, said in a statement that the CDC had a roughly week delay in reporting hospital data.
“The new faster and complete data system is what our nation needs to defeat the coronavirus and the CDC, an operating division of HHS, will certainly participate in this streamlined all-of-government response.” Caputo stated.
- Similar to Caputo’s claim of the alleged ineffectiveness of the older method, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday that the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), a CDC run system, ended up only gathering 81 percent of the information given by all US hospitals.
- The new system will be run by a Pittsburgh based company, TeleTracking Technologies. It’s said this new contracted company can provide a higher percentage of data while reporting it faster than before, straight to the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Hospitals began sending data to the new database on Wednesday.
- Daniel Pollock, a medical epidemiologist and surveillance branch chief for CDC, has made it clear that this change would essentially throw out the years of relationships with hospitals. He’s also stated that over time, the quality and amount of data between the health agency and the country’s hospitals have improved significantly.
The NHSN has been receiving reports from hospitals since late March with information regarding the amounts of hospital equipment, supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE). As of Wednesday, hospitals are being ordered by HHS to now report to a new site set up by HHS using a private contractor.