President Trump's administration ordered hospitals to stop reporting coronavirus test results to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and instead to send COVID-19 data to a central database in Washington, D.C.
"There has been an effort to try to streamline the reporting to get hopefully a one master source for the data," Dr. Pam Hudson, Crestwood Hospital CEO, said.
Hudson said reporting to a central database would hopefully help cut down time it takes to currently report the numbers.
"It has been taking hours at the hospital. It would be troublesome if we had to enter into four or five different databases," she explained.
Daily reporting is important because it helps the White House Coronavirus Task Force allocate personal protective equipment and Remdesivir.
Hudson hopes there is an answer way soon to input the data.
"The other piece is the data entry is very laborious. It is not automated yet. Much of the reporting we do for public health, for diseases that have been around for along time are as soon as the tests are run the interface sends the data to the state," she said.
The data collected by the Department of Health and Human Services might not be available to the public. Critics argue it will prevent researchers and other health officials from accurately tracking the pandemic. There’s also concern the numbers could be politicized or withheld. Hudson said she is simply looking at the data aspect of a new reporting system.
"Certainly we've all see the headlines, and whether or not there is a nefarious scheme behind it, is not for me to say, but the data management piece it would be nice to have a single source of truth," she explained.