Weekly Roundup: August 3 - 7, 2015
Customer Service. Federal News Radio interviewed GSA’s Martha Dorris about progress on the Administration’s goal to improve customer experience with government services. She says GSA is developing a digital “Voice of the Customer” toolkit for agencies that include a range of electronic approaches, such as the pilot “Feedback USA” button for instant feedback, and digital analytics to assess 4,000 federal websites. The Shrinking Millennials. According to Federal News Radio, :Federal agencies are finding it increasingly more difficult to recruit and retain younger employees. . . .Between 2010 and 2015, the percentage of federal employees under the age of 30 declined from 9.1 percent to 6.6 percent, . . .. In the same period, the percentage of feds under the age of 25 dropped from 2 percent to 0.92 percent.” Why? “After the first year of federal service, the satisfaction rate among federal employees drops from 72.3 points to 62.5 points.” We’re Sharing – Really, We Are! Federal News Radio reports that the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs have successfully piloted a medical data sharing program – the Joint Legacy Viewer – and it has 13,000 VA users and 1,200 DOD users. With the success of the pilot, they plan to expand, using a new viewer, in March 2016, that will allow VA clinicians to pull health information from both DOD and private sector care records. Streamlining Construction Permitting. The Obama Administration’s cross-agency priority goal of streamlining construction permitting for large infrastructure projects has been seen as highly successful. According to Government Executive, several elements in a 2012 executive order, along with other authorities, are now incorporated in pending legislation linked to the reauthorization of the highway bill. The bill would require better coordination between agencies, states, localities, and contractors – and shorten deadlines and appeals for different elements, such as environmental impact statements and labor requirements. Gamifying Health – Through Apps. It’s not just FitBit and JawBone anymore! Federal Computer Week reports that a panel at a recent conference foresees that the Internet of Things “will usher in the age of ‘self-managed’ health care.” The Myths of Good Customer Experience. Josh Plaskoff writes in NextGov that: “Citizen experience, or CX, is more than improving call center metrics; it involves a holistic look at how and where citizens interact with the government and improving these touch points to meet their expectations. To do this, we need to do some myth-busting to ensure the changes implemented make a real difference.” Evidence-Based Results on Teacher Training. The Washington Post reports on a recent study that shows teachers spend up to 10 percent of their school year in training programs, costing about $8 billion a year – that generally show no impact on the quality of their teaching. These are the kinds of studies needed by policymakers when allocating resources – find what works and fund them! Michael Keegan Another cyber bill, a FedRAMP report card, cyber-ed partnerships and more. A new Senate bill would require inspectors general to report on practices and tools used by federal agencies to safeguard their networks and data, while also evaluating any roadblocks to agencies adopting protective measures. Interior Department soars on Instagram. Social media is easier said than done for federal agencies, but the Interior Department's Instagram account is the very picture of success. Data Analytics Tool Identifies Best Treatments for Cancer Patients. A new data analytics tool was able to match cancer patients with the best drug therapy based on their specific genes. The tool analyzes data on cancer-fighting drugs and compares the data with a publicly available cancer genome database to recommend drug treatments. United Press International, University of Colorado Cancer Center's "Colorado Cancer Blogs." Groups Urge CMS To Finalize Meaningful Use Modifications. In a letter sent last week, 18 health IT groups urge CMS to quickly finalize its proposed changes to the meaningful use program. The groups warn that providers and vendors need adequate time to make the workflow changes necessary "to be able to meet the reporting deadlines for 2015 and continue participation in the program." Health Data Management, Politico's "Morning eHealth." IG sees progress in FBI’s Next Gen Cyber Initiative, but challenges remain. FBI’s Next Generation Cyber Initiative has faced a range of shortcomings and challenges since its 2012 debut, but a new audit report urges one immediate remedy: Hire some good people. The Next Gen Cyber Initiative is an ongoing, multi-year strategy for the way the FBI addresses cyber threats. The agency has narrowed the focus of the Cyber Division to cyber intrusions since they pose the greatest national security threat and now emphasizes prediction and prevention rather than reaction. * * * * * The Business of Government Radio Show. What are the U.S. Army’s key strategic and operational objectives? How is the Army restructuring its aviation portfolio? How is the Army using analytics to inform decision-making and resource allocation? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and so much more with Major General John Ferrari, Director, Program Analysis and Evaluation, Office of the U.S. Army’s deputy chief of staff. Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday at 11 a.m., and Wednesday at noon, on Federal News Radio 1500AM WFED If you can't wait, though, you can listen to (or download) this week's program and all our previous interviews at businessofgovernment.org.