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SCIENTIFIC: Provide highly qualified analytical, microbiological and chemical examinations, and assure surveillance information in the areas of disease, newborn and maternal screening, and environmental quality, which is definitive, unbiased and reliable. [Derived from Iowa Administrative Code 681(263)-Chapter 5.1(1)]

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

The Office of Information and Technology supports a complex set of networks providing comprehensive IT services to the three Hygienic Laboratory locations. The office maintains around-the-clock laboratory operations, including testing in clinical care, environmental and emergency preparedness.

The Hygienic Laboratory is regulated by many national and state agencies, each with their own data security and confidentiality requirements. To be compliant with mandated rules and regulations from such agencies, IT operates a rigorous set of security protocols, including firewalls, encryption, controlled access and monitored surveillance systems.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Integrated disease testing into the Hygienic Laboratoryís Enterprise Laboratory Information Management System called OpenELIS. The new system provides significant improvements with laboratory workflow including instrument interfacing, electronic result reporting to hospitals and automated disease surveillance connectivity with the Iowa Department of Public Health. In the near future, with the integration of newborn screening, all testing conducted by the Hygienic Laboratory will be integrated into OpenELIS which will lead to an increase in efficiency for the lab and its clients.

  • Designed additional features in OpenELIS to manage state monitoring and reporting requirements for samples covered by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The new enhancement allows OpenELIS to automatically resend collection kits when samples have positive results; to electronically notify the Iowa Department of Natural Resources when results are elevated; and to manage additional public water supply identification information for compliance monitoring. This project was supported by a two-year EPA Exchange Network grant.

HUMAN RESOURCES

The Office of Human Resources collaborates with laboratory leadership to ensure an engaged, competent and diverse workforce through challenging work activities and belief in the organizationís mission.

Human Resources oversees development and administration of policies and programs for recruitment, compensation, training, support and retention. Human Resources works with staff through all phases of employment, from orientation through professional development and retirement.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Recruited and educated new staff, and enhanced the reward and recognition program.

  • Provided opportunities for college students and other potential employees across the state and country to develop careers in clinical laboratory science, environmental health, chemistry, biology, microbiology and other fields of study.

Other units in the Office of the Director