Wednesday, January 2, 2008

NY Governor Highlights New Healthcare Actions

Since January 1, 2008, legislation is now in effect in New York to require hospitals to report suspected or confirmed hospital acquired information associated with another hospital to the originating hospital. Healthcare facilities and providers must notify each other of patients that are seen in more than one facility.

The new legislation provides facilities with the authority to share information in order to identify all sources of infections and to ensure appropriate care for the individual patients. The legislation also promotes increased active surveillance, by requiring the collection of monthly infection data to provide immediate feedback to the reporting hospital.

In addition, the State Immunization Information System put in place to prevent gaps in reporting was extended by legislation enacted in 2007. The System operates as a demonstration program and collects information provided by healthcare providers on a voluntary basis in order to track and monitor the immunization of children.

To help all New Yorkers have access to affordable high-speed internet service, the New York State Council for Universal Broadband has been established. In addition RFPs were released in early December to distribute funds for competitive grants to research, design, and implement accessible high speed internet for neglected urban and rural communities with the purpose to narrow the digital divide.

In 2007-2008, the New York State budget appropriated $5,000,000 to provide seed money through competitive grants to promote research, design, and implement innovative solutions to provide for affordable internet in the state. The New York State Office of the Chief Information Officer and the Office for Technology administers the broadband access grant program.