If a patient’s fever quickly rises half a degree, how do health care providers know it may have a serious connection to a recent change in CDC guidelines? Until now, the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) communicates guideline changes by updating and distributing PDF documents.

When a situation like the Ebola virus outbreak occurs, that puts enormous responsibility on providers to manually compare a patients’ record with CDC documentation. And to think to do it in the first place.

Bryan_Sivak_Headshot_-_Lower_ResBryan Sivak would like to see this changed, and as CTO for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), he’s in a position to improve on a situation that’s painfully outdated. When a serious outbreak like Ebola happens, the situation is extremely fluid, and CDC makes guideline changes on the fly continuously.

Sivak believes there is a way to make these guidelines — and minute-by-minute changes when they happen — machine readable. That opens the real possibility of integrating guidelines directly with patients’ electronic health records so that a patient at risk is immediately flagged.

Sivak is also a keynote speaker at HealthBeat this coming Monday and Tuesday (October 27 and 28). He’ll be joined by VentureBeat Founder and CEO Matt Marshall, and we can expect an open conversation in which the Ebola outbreak will play a big part.

Sivak doesn’t have a specific regulatory or operational mandate; his is to take input from those outside the health care system and recommend changes to process, behavior, or technology that might improve it.

Sivak will speak frankly and shed light on how recent advances in tech can make the U.S. health system more ready to contain the Ebola outbreak — or maybe even find a cure for the disease.

Tickets to HealthBeat are still available. Register now to catch Sivak talking about Ebola, his passion for turning data into actionable insights, and the most current issues in privacy and security. Check out the full conference agenda here.