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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
May 26, 1999

Assessment of Public Health Computer Readiness for 2000—United States, 1999

JAMA. 1999;281(20):1884-1885. doi:10.1001/jama.281.20.1884-JWR0526-3-1

MMWR. 1999;48:359-367

2 tables omitted

Computer software, equipment, and other devices that contain embedded microchips that store and process dates may use two-digit years (e.g., 99 for 1999) to reduce data entry burden and save electronic storage space; these devices may not work properly when the year 2000 (Y2K) arrives.1 Many aspects of health-care delivery, public health surveillance and research, and critical infrastructure components (e.g., utilities and transportation services) depend on vulnerable computers. To ensure that critical public health functions will not be compromised because of Y2K problems, CDC assessed state public health agency readiness for Y2K. This report describes the findings of the assessment, which indicate that state health agencies that responded are substantially ready for Y2K and plan to reach full readiness in 1999.

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