An Empirical Assessment of High-Performing Medical Groups: by Stephen Shortell; Julie Schmittdiel; Margaret Wang; Rui Li;

By Stephen Shortell; Julie Schmittdiel; Margaret Wang; Rui Li; Robin Gillies

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This statute mandates that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) create guidelines that will require research centers and research universities to report to a government agency those chemicals that could be used in criminal or terrorist activities. Before this statute was passed there was no such reporting requirement for those types of chemicals specified by DHS. Unless the research center or research university kept an active inventory of chemicals, there was no accurate way for auditors or first responders to know where the chemicals were located, the quantities of chemicals that were stored at a certain location, what the chemicals were being used for, the rate of consumption for those chemicals, and ultimately who was responsible for those types of chemicals.

All of the federal regulations have been gradually tightened since the early 1980s. Research facilities that were constructed before the passage of such guidelines either had to be demolished and a new facility constructed to accommodate the research activities or had to be modified to be compliant with the federal guidelines. , a Department of Defense contract). EPA in particular released information in 2000 that several universities had either been fined for violations or been found to be in noncompliance with EPA guidelines.

The physical security weaknesses noted in the report are as follows: • Uncontrolled issuance of hot lab door keys • Unauthorized entry into “hot labs” • Once intruders accessed the building, intruders had unobstructed access to the floors with hot labs • Unauthorized removal of selected agents • Storage of hot lab keys in open drawers • Unlocked security doors • Use of breakable glass in security doors • Unsupervised, unimpeded access to freezers located in open areas • Unlocked freezers in hot labs • A lack of closed-circuit television cameras • Nonenforcement of the use of identification badges The auditors could not determine whether proper procedures had been used for compliance of the Select Agent Transfer Regulation due to inadequate inventory control (Department of Health and Human Services 2004).

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