RD871 - Department of Health Records Management American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) – December 29, 2021

Executive Summary:

The existing paper-based processes make it challenging for the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) react and respond to requests for data and information, and the appetite for data analytics has significantly increased over the last eighteen months due largely to the ongoing pandemic. These inefficiencies result in time consuming manual searches for records and result in processing delays. Moreover, compliance with storage and records management policy requirements has created significant and growing physical storage demands, which require budget and manpower resources and consumes valuable space which is neither efficient nor cost effective.

A holistic and comprehensive refresh of the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) electronic health record, administrative systems is vital to the transformation of records management processes. As such, VDH is actively engaged in converting from a paper-centric records management process to a digitized and automated system that when fully implemented, will make information and records across all offices more accessible and interoperable.

Digitizing and automating outdated paper-based processes will enable employees to work more effectively and efficiently, and better serve Virginians. Since records are currently only maintained in paper form, there is no contingency plan should the records be lost or damaged by fire, flood, or other natural disaster.

During Q2FY22, VDH conducted research on digitization vendors and cloud storage platforms, conducted reviews with three priority offices for digitization (Office of Drinking Water (ODW), Office of Vital Records (OVR), Office of Licensure and Certification (OLC)), to learn about ongoing and past digitization and cloud storage efforts, completed an office record inventory assessment, and begun developing office-specific digitization strategies. VDH expects this work to continue into the next quarter, and anticipates implementation of office digitization strategies and procuring a digitization vendor/storage solution in the fourth quarter and into the next fiscal year. The results of these interviews will be used to develop requirements for these future procurements. These accomplishments in the first few months have set the Records Management Initiative on the path to successfully digitize VDH’s paper records within the ARPA SLFRF funding window.