News: Government removes daily COVID-19 reporting option, HHS unveils new database
After the federal government ordered hospitals to stop sending COVID-19 patient data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and instead send it directly to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), HHS has unveiled a new website of the hospitalization data.
All COVID-19 patient data, including the number of hospitalized patients, available beds, and medical equipment like ventilators, must now be reported daily and directly to the HHS. In their stated guidelines, hospitals will be able to use one of the four approved daily reporting modules. These include:
- Reporting data to state health departments that have written authorization from regional federal administrator to report hospital data to the HHS
- Reporting to the HHS TeleTracking portal
- Authorizing IT vendors and other third-party stakeholders to share information directly with the HHS, which must be approved by HHS regional administrators
- Publishing on a hospital website in a standardized format, such as schema.org, which also requires approval from regional administrators
HHS spokesman Michael Caputo said in a statement to CNBC, “the CDC’s old data gathering operation once worked well monitoring hospital information across the country, but it’s an inadequate system today,” thus prompting the change.
According to the HHS, the CDC’s reporting system only collected data from roughly 3,000 of the 6,200 hospitals in the country, where the new HHS system generally collects from 4,500. The raw data itself will be available for hospitals to download and incorporate into their own systems for analysis, while only some of the raw data will also be available to the public.
In order to access similar data sets to those previously provided by the CDC, people will need to undergo an authentication process so that HHS knows who is accessing the data, the organization stated. The new website can be found here.