System name: National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) Patient Treatment and Tracking, HHS/OS/ASPR/OPEO.
Security classification: None.
System location: For a specified period and in accordance with the archiving rules, the paper records will be resident at NDMS headquarters, located at 409 3rd Street SW., Suite 330, Washington, DC 20024. The electronic copy of the record will be resident at the data center at the Unisys Corporation, 11720 Plaza America Drive, Reston, VA 20190.
Categories of individuals covered by the system: The individuals covered by the system are all persons and owners of animals treated by NDMS medical personnel when the NDMS Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) and Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams (VMATs) are activated to respond to emergency situations, or as a response to any other situation for which they are activated.
Categories of records in the system: All records pertaining to treatment and movement of patients to include the following (both in hard copy and electronic format):
Category A: Completed Patient Treatment Record form that includes
1. NDMS Team Identification.
2. Chart Number.
3. Time and Date Patient seeks treatment.
4. Triage Category and health status.
5. Location where Patient is seen and transferred.
6. Patient Identification--Name, Address, City, State, Zip, Date of Birth, Phone Number, Employment, Weight, Next of Kin.
8. Vital Signs/Treatment Recommended and/or Prescribed.
9. Discharge--Time, Date, Disposition, Recommendations.
10. Patient Authorization--Requires Patient Signature in Front of Witness and Witness Verification through Signature.
11. Any potential attachments such as X-rays and laboratory reports showing test results.
Category B: Veterinarian Treatment Records on animals
1. Privacy Act Data such as the name, address and telephone contact information of owners of animals will be maintained
to be associated with the animal patient. However, animal treatment records themselves are not subject to the Privacy
Authority for maintenance of the system: NDMS Statute, 42 U.S.C. 300hh-11; Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Records disposition of this medical SOR is determined under laws governing federal records through the National Archives, 44 U.S.C. 3303a.
Purposes(s): Medical and demographic information is collected on all patients seen and/or treated by NDMS or ASPR personnel. This SOR will also provide the location, time, and date the patient was transported during an evacuation. The information collected will include but not be limited to the patient's (1) Medical treatment history, (2) their pre-existing conditions, (3) their described symptoms, (4) any medical opinion rendered by an attending medical professional(s), (5) medications that were prescribed, or (6) any other medical advice provided. The collection of data contained in medical records provides a mechanism by which teams can have the ability to conduct medical quality assurance and establish a quality improvement process (QIP). Through QIP, teams can analyze and judge their performance on a
specific deployment and if necessary enable them to better plan for future deployments. These patient records are also important sources of information to be used for research projects related to the prevention of disease or disability as a result of a disaster. Most importantly, these patient records document medical treatment rendered, especially if questions of liability arise about the treatment or the subsequent condition of the patient while he/she is under the care of NDMS.
Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses:
In addition to those disclosures generally permitted under 5 U.S.C. 552a(b) of the Privacy Act, all or a portion of the records or information contained in this system may be disclosed outside HHS as a routine use pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3) as follows:
1. ESF 8 is a coordinated effort between HHS, DHS, DoD, and the VA. As such, the medical treatment and movement of
patients is a shared responsibility between the ESF 8 partnership agencies. The medical and demographic information
collected during the treatment of a patient is shared with the partners to ensure that patients treated through NDMS
receive the maximum level of health care possible.
2. Disclosure to a member of Congress or a Congressional staff member in response to an inquiry from the Congressional
office made at the behest of the constituent about whom the record is maintained.
3. Disclosure to the Department of Justice (DOJ), court, or adjudicatory body when the following situations arise:
a. The agency or any component thereof, or
b. Any employee of the agency whether in his/her official or individual capacity, where DOJ has agreed to represent the
c. The United States government is a party to litigation or has an interest in such litigation and after careful review, the
agency deems that the records requested are relevant and necessary to the litigation and that the use of such records by
DOJ, court, or adjudicatory body is compliant with the purpose for which the agency collected the records.
4. Disclosure to agency contractors, consultants, or grantees who have been engaged by the agency to assist in the
performance of a service related to this collection and who need to have access to the records in order to perform the
5. To assist another Federal and/or State agency, agency of a state government, an agency established by State law, or its
a. To establish the benefit entitlement of the patient.
b. To establish the relationship between the existing state benefit and the benefit funded in whole or part with Federal
funds, such as the one associated with the NDMS definitive care.
c. To collaborate with the state and state agencies on behalf of family members regarding the current location and
placement of their evacuated family member or patient population.
6. Disclosure to family members of a patient about the location or the status of the patient.
Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining, and disposing of records in the system:
Category A: Patient Care Forms or other Medical Records: Records in this system will be retained in accordance with the records disposition authority approved by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for the Office of Public Health and Emergency Preparedness (OPHEP) in compliance with N1-468-07-1. The Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act (Pub. L. 109-417), established the ASPR to serve in a similar capacity as OPHEP for medical disaster response. The records disposition authority used for these records will N1-468-07-1.
Disposition authority: Patient Care Forms or other Medical Records regulated under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), created by the Federal Medical Station(s) or by any component of HHS/ASPR during a response to an event while caring for victims of that event.
Disposition: Cutoff is at the end of the response activity by the Federal Medical Station(s) for a particular event. Retire to the Washington National Records Center 2 years after cutoff. Destroy 75 years after cutoff. This disposition instruction is media neutral; it applies regardless of media or format of the records.
Category B--The information collected on animals and their owners will not be destroyed until NARA approves a disposition schedule for those records.
Storage: Paper records from this system are stored in the NDMS headquarters
at 409 3rd Street, SW., Suite 330, Washington, DC 20024. The electronic
database or server where information is entered and stored is maintained at the HHS data center located at Unisys Corporation, 11720 Plaza America Drive, Reston, VA 20190. During deployments, NDMS stores the records securely in their deployed location, the electronic data is stored in a secured server, and all procedures required for protection of Privacy Act documents are implemented as identified in
“Safeguards'' section below.
Retrievability: NDMS Patient Treatment and Tracking Records in electronic and paper copy are organized by event, location, and date of treatment. Data from the records are stored in an electronic database enabling data from the records to be retrievable by name and other demographic information provided by the patient (or for veterinary records, by pet owner), as well as by location of treatment, diagnosis, and other data fields within the database.
Safeguards: NDMS has safeguards in place for authorized users and monitors such
users to ensure against unauthorized use. Personnel having access to the system have been trained in the Privacy Act and information security requirements for both paper copies and electronically stored information. Information in this system is safeguarded in accordance with applicable laws, rules and policies, including the HHS Information Technology Security Program Handbook, all pertinent National Institutes
of Standards and Technology publications and OMB Circular A-130, Management of Federal resources. All records are protected from unauthorized access through appropriate administrative, physical, and technical safeguards. These safeguards include restricting access to authorized personnel who have a need-to-know, using physical locks in the office environment, and the process of authentication using user
IDs and passwords function as protection identification features. HHS file areas are locked after normal duty hours and the facilities are protected from the outside by security personnel.
System manager and address: The NDMS Chief Medical Officer located at 409 3rd Street, SW., Washington, DC 20024. Mailing address: 330 Independence Avenue, SW., Room G-644, Washington, DC 20201.
Notification procedure: Requests for Privacy Act protected information generally are
governed by HHS regulations found at 45 CFR, Part 5b. They must be made in writing and clearly marked as a “Privacy Act Request'' on the envelope and letter. Inquiries regarding this SOR should be addressed to the System Manager. Inquiries related to patient medical records should include the full name of the individual, the appropriate personal identification, and the current address, and should be sent to
the Chief Medical Officer, NDMS, 330 Independence Avenue, SW., Room G-644, Washington, DC 20201. The name of the requester, the nature of the record sought, and the verification of identify must be clearly indicated, as required by HHS regulations at 45 CFR 5b.5. Requests may also be sent to: HHS Privacy Act Officer 200 Independence Avenue, SW.,Washington, DC 20201.
Record access procedures: Same as notification procedure above.
Contesting record procedures: Same as the notification procedure above. The letter should state clearly and concisely what information you are contesting, the reasons for contesting it, and the proposed amendment to the information that you seek pursuant to HHS Privacy Act regulations, 45 CFR 5b.7.
Record source categories: Sources for providing data for NDMS Patient Treatment Records will only be provided by patients, medical personnel treating the patients
or by accessing their personal health records (PHR). In the case of minors or other individuals unable to explain symptoms, information may be sought from a parent or guardian. For animals, information will be gathered by NDMS veterinary personnel and/or owners or caretakers of animals.
System exempted from certain provision of the act: None