Kathleen Hickey


Posts by Kathleen Hickey

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued a contest for developers to create software aimed at reducing medical errors in hospitals and outpatient settings.

HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is offering $70,000 in prizes for the Reporting Patient Safety Events Challenge. The first place winner will receive $50,000; second place $15,000 and third place $5,000. Entries are due by August 31, 2012. Additionally, ONC plans a webinar kickoff of the challenge with more details. Keep reading →

Governor Bob McDonnell signs new legislation to attract data centers to Virginia, accompanied by NVTC President Bobbie Kilberg (seated at right) and representatives from member firms.

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell gets technology. He also gets the importance data centers and technology firms will play in the future of the commonwealth’s economy. Keep reading →

Who’s that looking over your shoulder? If you’re a federal employee working on classified information on your computer, you just might have a problem.

Fully 82 percent of government workers are unprotected from computer monitor Peeping Toms, according to a recent study. Keep reading →

Only 6% of civilian agencies and 3% Defense and Intelligence agencies currently have the infrastructure and processes in place to take full advantage of big data sets and most federal organizations will need at least three years before they can, according to a just-released survey of federal IT professionals.

The survey’s findings seem to indicate a rocky road ahead for President Obama’s “Big Data Research and Development Initiative” announced in late March. As part of that initiative, six federal departments and agencies announced more than $200 million in new big data projects. Keep reading →

All of Minnesota’s executive branch government employees are now working in a cloud environment, enabling the state to more effectively collaborate across agencies, reduce costs, expand its IT abilities, improve citizen services, and increase security.

The move involves 35,000 employees in more than 70 executive agencies using Microsoft Office 365 to securely access email, share calendars, IM, video conference and collaboratively work on projects over the web. It is the largest state deployment of the technology, said Stuart McKee, CTO, US State and Local Government, Microsoft. Keep reading →

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) plans to further reduce health care fraud with the implementation of a two-factor identity credentialing system for individuals accessing their records online.

The system is also intended to safeguard users’ identities, supporting the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) “National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace.” The technology is compliant with NIST’s electronic authentication guidelines and the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA). Keep reading →

U.S. government CIOs have been hogtied by bureaucracy, unable to effectively do their jobs because they do not consistently have responsibility for what they are legally mandated to do or are critical for effective information technology (IT) management. Additionally, while law mandates that CIOs report directly to the head of their respective agency, only about half do, further hindering their effectiveness, according to a Government Accountability Office report issued yesterday.

“CIOs have not always been empowered to be successful,” concluded the report. “Despite the broad authority given to CIOs in federal law, these officials face limitations that hinder their ability to effectively exercise this authority, which has contributed to many of the long-standing IT management challenges we have found in our work.” Keep reading →

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) data mining systems need additional oversight, review and evaluation to protect privacy rights, ensure transparency to the public and enable effective counterterrorism efforts, stated the General Accountability Office (GAO) in a report released last week.

Of six component agency data mining systems evaluated, “none performed all of the key activities associated with an effective evaluation framework…Only one program office performed most of the activities related to obtaining executive review and approval,” said the report. “Until such reforms are in place, DHS and its component agencies may not be able to ensure that critical data mining systems used in support of counterterrorism are both effective and that they protect personal privacy.” Keep reading →

What benefit does LinkedIn have for federal government employers looking to hire and government employees looking to be hired, either in the private sector or in government?

Plenty. Keep reading →

A new study finds that current Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) rules used by state and local governments to estimate pension plan funding significantly underestimate costs, and, as a result, potentially encourages excessive hiring at the local level. The study was written by the University of Rochester’s Robert Novy-Marx and Northwestern University’s Professor Joshua D. Rauh.

“A significant finding of our analysis is that the GASB rules significantly undervalues the
cost of providing DB (i.e. pension) plans to state workers,” noted Novy-Marx and Rauh in the report. Keep reading →

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