Disaster Preparedness: Protecting Vital Records

The Blog

This piece is the first installment of a multi-part series called “Disaster Preparedness.”

RIM Disaster Preparedness

There is no place on earth that is 100% safe from disasters. Whether man-made or natural, disasters can strike at any time, at any location, and to anybody. Considering these “once every X-Years” storms appear to be occurring with increasing frequency, and the news is filled daily with a wide-ranging gamut of other catastrophes, the need has never been more urgent for organizations to protect their information assets, in all formats and media. For this reason, we’ve put together a white paper outlining the kind of information that organizations need to keep in mind to properly protect their information.

The white paper describes what Vital Records are, and outlines with a step-by-step process how a protection plan should look. Furthermore, we go into explicit detail on how the different sectors of an organization should work together to accomplish the task as a whole. This information is then applied to electronic records, giving a holistic view of disaster preparation. As every organization and department face risk from disasters both man-made and natural, this white paper is of value to all. Click here to go to the White Paper on Disaster Preparedness.

Cadence Group co-writers on this article:  Michael P. Allen, MBA, CRM, Cadence Group’s Sr. Consultant/Client Relationship Manager in Washington, D.C., Mary Beth Weaver, MLS, CRM, PMP, CIP, Cadence Group’s Vice President of Operations in Washington, D.C., and Marcus Durand, Administrative Assistant, Atlanta.

Follow us on Twitter @CadenceGroup for updates and other Cadence Group news.

For more information, check out Cadence Group’s RIM Practice Page.

Cadence Group and NOVA Research Company Staff at the APHA Booth

From November 4th to the 8th, Cadence Group attended and presented at the annual meeting at the American Public Health Association (APHA). As part of their recent partnership on contracts, Cadence Group and NOVA Research Company co-hosted a booth from the 5th to the 7th. There were many topics and issues in the spotlight at this conference; we were kept busy between our time at the booth and giving presentations.

Our booth was active throughout the conference, with a busy flow of individuals looking to discuss Cadence Group’s approach to public health services. We discussed topics such as Open Data within the world of public health and the benefits and challenges of such a practice. Additionally, as has become tradition, we had our usual conference raffle of Modern Chocolatier’s chocolates!

Cadence Group’s Jessica Keralis was involved in multiple sessions. She was co-author to a project on insights and trends in global health preparedness presented at APHA. The session that Jessica presented in was on global health advocacy, and challenged HIV-related travel restrictions, analyzing successes and lessons learned in public health advocacy and international law. Additionally, Jessica moderated a session on strengthening health systems in developing settings.

Cadence Group co-writers on this article: Jessica Keralis, MPH, Associate Director of Public Health Services, Washington D.C., and Marcus Durand, Administrative Assistant, Atlanta.

Follow us on Twitter @CadenceGroup for updates and other Cadence Group news.

For more information, check out Cadence Group’s Health IT Practice Page.

Cadence Group Staff Presenting at ARMALive!2017

Cadence Group had a successful and very busy weekend in Orlando, FL, for ARMA Live! 2017, held October 15th to 17th. During the duration of the conference, Cadence Group hosted a booth in the “Consultants Corner” led a campfire discussion, presented multiple educational sessions, hosted an informal networking party – and of course, attended the conference! With over 200 sessions to choose from, our team gained diverse perspectives on a number of timely RIM/Information Governance topics. The hundreds of guests kept our booth and speakers busy the rest of the time. A Cadence Group conference tradition, our raffle awarded boxes of handcrafted chocolate from Modern Chocolatier.

Cadence Group enjoyed the opportunity to speak with professionals across the public and private sectors. In particular, with the launch our new Information Governance (IG) page, we discussed the value of good information governance practices and the benefits they can bring to organizations. We also used this opportunity to release our new Retention Scheduling capabilities. Learn more through the link: Records Retention Schedule Management (RRSM) Tool.

For information about the Cadence Group educational sessions, check out the following clips for an introduction on our 3 presentation topics:
ARMALive! 2017 Teasers Playlist

Mary Beth’s Teaser Video
Mike’s Teaser Video
Soo & Tina’s Teaser Video

This piece is the second installment of a six-part series called “Open to potential: How embracing open data can advance public health practice, governance, and research.”  See part 1 of this series: Open Data: What is it and Why is it Important to Public Health?

Open Data: Knowledge Management

Open data sounds great on paper. After all, what’s not to like? Proponents cite an impressive array of civic, economic, and operational benefits. Open data can improve health service delivery, public transportation, and education! With so many potential applications and a chorus of advocates making the case for its use on multiple levels of government, significant political momentum toward making public sector data open has been generated – and politics can move incredibly fast.

Unfortunately, the speed of political initiative can compromise the long-term sustainability of open data programs. A recent report by the Open Data Institute on the European Data Portal project illustrates this phenomenon:

The sustainability of Open Data portals – that is, the extent to which they can respond and adapt to challenges – is therefore important. Yet most portals were created quickly as part of a politically driven Open Data initiative, without feasibility studies, business case, strategy or user research. Many were built in response to the nascent Open Government Partnership (OGP) movement, or simply because governments felt they ought to have one. In short, most Open Data portals were set up without sustainability in mind.

As a result of this, portal owners now face a series of interlinked problems: limited funding, challenges instigating re-use of data, data-quality issues, securing political support for publishing relevant data, and scaling up with legacy systems and operating structures. This means many portals struggle to remain fit for purpose.

Barriers to sustainability are common to any type of technological initiative (or any significant shift in the way a program approaches its operations). In order to overcome these barriers, it is important to understand what they are and what strategies can be used to address them. While certain obstacles are specific to an organization’s mission and local context, there are some that are universal and easily anticipated.

Two central considerations to sustainability of open data initiatives are governance and operations, both connected to the organization spearheading the initiative. It is not uncommon for open data platforms to be conceived and executed parallel to, and independent of, “regular” operations, in order to be developed and deployed as quickly as possible (particularly if they are created in response to political priority). While this may be efficient in the short term, it makes it difficult to incorporate use of the platform into the organization’s core functions. The platform exists independently, with staff confused about who is ultimately responsible for it (governance), how and when to use it, and how it relates their work (operations).

Another major barrier that is apparent in open data discussions is the financial one. This can look different for different types of organizations. For example, large federal and state agencies may encounter this challenge in the form of having to provide continuous justification for open data support to policymakers when initial publicity wanes, while nonprofit organizations see this as securing reliable funding streams after the initial open data grant ends. This can tie back to governance as well, as funders of all stripes will naturally have questions about who is managing the platform and how efficiency and accountability of that management can be ensured.

One of the most pressing and intimidating concerns is legal compliance. With health data in particular, organizations must comply with HIPAA and any other local regulations on privacy and confidentiality of protected health information, in addition to records retention requirements. Additionally, open data is not truly open if it is not appropriately licensed. For organizations and agencies whose resources are already stretched thin, this can be a formidable landscape.

Sound information governance and knowledge management practices can go a long way to addressing these concerns. Conducting a needs assessment to understand who is using the data and for what purpose(s), and then using that assessment to develop a business plan and a governance structure to determine who will operate the open data platform and how they will do it is a fundamental practice of good knowledge management. Similarly, developing procedures for how organization staff can accommodate the maintenance of open data into their workflows, training them, and (most importantly) helping them to understand the importance of open data to the organization’s work requires careful planning, which is strengthened and sustained by an organizational culture that prioritizes knowledge management.

Fortunately, a good knowledge management strategy that facilitates the development of sustainable governance and operation of an open data platform can be leveraged to help address financial sustainability. On the most basic level, it is easy to justify and generate enthusiasm for an open data strategy that has a clear purpose and directly benefits the organization’s mission and goals. If the staff understand how it is important to their work and provides added value to clients, it is easy to make the case to continue to support it. Additionally, good knowledge management can lead to lower costs in the planning stages by helping organizations choose technological platforms more strategically. Finally, legal compliance with data privacy and records retention laws is also made easier for companies with solid knowledge management practices. It ensures that they have the expertise to research requirements, assess current practices and products, and address any gaps so that their data can be provided, accessed, and used by the their clients and stakeholders.

This piece is the second installment of a six-part series
“Open to potential: How embracing open data can advance public health practice, governance, and research.”
See part 1 of this series: Open Data: What is it and Why is it Important to Public Health?

Cadence Group Staff at Conference Booth

From November 5th to 7th, Cadence Group and NOVA Research Company (NOVA) will be hosting Booth 926 at the annual meeting at the American Public Health Association (APHA). This year, the conference takes place in Atlanta, at the Georgia World Congress Center. There are many topics and issues in the spotlight at this conference, for discussion at booths and in events, and information about the conference can be found on the APHA 2017 Annual Meeting & Expo Website.

The teaming of Cadence Group and NOVA brings a powerful partnership into the world of federal contracting. With this pairing, every aspect of public health, research, technical, and other projects can be neatly handled with the expert precision, personalization, and excellence for which Cadence Group and NOVA regularly set standards. Come by Booth 926 to meet with professionals from both companies.

Cadence Group is a certified woman-owned small business with 25 years of prime contract experience at CDC. Cadence Group has branched out to provide support to federal and private sector contractors such as Alliance for Children & Families/Families International, NCHS, Emory Hospitals, and Walter Reed Hospital with offices in Atlanta and DC. Through successful contract after contract, Cadence Group has developed a comprehensive consulting and IM services methodology based on a foundation of rigorous information and data management standards. Services include software development, systems evaluation and integration, information management, knowledge management, information architecture, web graphics and design, business process improvement, project and program management.  Recognized as thought leaders in the information world, Cadence Group has been invited to speak at many events.

NOVA, an SBA-certified woman-owned small business, has provided professional research and technical services for behavioral, biomedical, and public health to CDC, NIH and other DHHS agencies since 1986. Services encompass: qualitative and quantitative program evaluation; computer services including database design/management and applications development/operation; technical training and training evaluation; science, medical and health communications writing, dissemination, and graphic arts; health programs strategic planning and policy analysis including performance management, program assessment, and portfolio analyses; and multimedia technology support including Website design, implementation and maintenance. Using its Questionnaire Development System (QDS™), NOVA performs survey instrument design and programming, traditional (CAPI/ACASI) and web-based data collection, management, analysis, reporting, training, technical support, and continuous QDS™ enhancements to meet changing technologies and client needs.

PR Web

ARMA LIVE!, Cadence Group Exhibiting, Table 925-2, Oct. 15-17, 2017, Orlando
Information governance professionals from Atlanta-based Cadence Group will join thousands of other organizations from around the country at the ARMA International LIVE! Conference & Expo on October 15-17th. The event is taking place at the Orlando World Center Marriot.

This year’s ARMA LIVE! examines how the world uses records and data to make informed decisions and shape policy, as well as how this process is changing. Cadence Group has excelled in these areas and supported its clients for over two decades, come see how we are continuously adapting our methodology to leverage – and manage the risk associated with – the latest technology.

Cadence Group has many speakers this year, who will all be presenting on Tuesday the 17th.

Michael Allen, CRM, is leading a session on how to pitch your RIM initiative to the heads of businesses. Sit in on his session to learn and speak the language of the executives and the stakeholders, and provide you with methods for framing your message to get their attention and compel them to take action.

Mary Beth Weaver, CRM, CIP, PMP, MLS, is leading a session on how to maximize RIM training in the twenty-first century. Now that there’s so much information constantly being generated, stored, and deleted, everyone in an organization is a records manager. Sit in on her session to learn effective training techniques to keep up in the modern, fast-paced information environment.

Soo Kim and Tina Teree Baker, IGP, are leading a session that highlights strategies for managing shared drives. If a hundred or more employees are all accessing and saving information in the same place, how can you be sure to keep it clean and defensibly delete information? With Records Management tools available to help, stop by their session to get some solid ideas for surviving these challenges and more.

As one of more than 100 exhibitors at the conference, Cadence Group will be in the Consultant’s Corner (Table 925-2) sharing recent case studies and expertise on a variety of tools for Records and Information Management. Furthermore, we will be answering questions regarding software evaluation methodology, advantages/disadvantages of enterprise content management vs. information archiving solutions, records and information management training, e-mail management and network shared drive cleanup strategies, and more. Take a chance to meet with a number of session leaders! To learn more about the event visit: http://conference.explorearma.org/cms/

PR Web

About Cadence Group

Cadence Group, a certified woman owned small business, is a user-centric information management company with nearly 25 years of experience in consulting and information management services. Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, with an office in Washington, D.C., Cadence Group provides services to large federal agencies, as well as state and local governments. By combining information governance, process improvement, preparedness, web content management, records & information management, library science, knowledge management, user experience, training and technology services, Cadence Group helps corporate and government clients easily obtain, manage, disseminate, and communicate information. Clients optimize information assets, maintain compliance, and acquire information experts through Cadence Group’s consulting and placement services. http://www.cadence-group.com

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