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NIH Record

Y2K@NIH — A Work in Progress

It wasn't New Year's Eve, but some NIH staff quietly celebrated a millennial passage earlier this spring when the Center for Information Technology reported that 100 percent of NIH's mission-critical systems are Y2K-compliant.

NIH identified 14 essential systems such as IMPAC, MEDLARS, and the Administrative Database, and prioritized them for Y2K evaluation, remediation, and IV & V (independent validation and verification). NIH not only completed the work by the DHHS deadline but also reported that 98 percent of its remaining systems are Y2K-compliant.

The good news results from years of planning by NIH's Year 2000 work group. Since 1996, IC representatives coordinated by CIT have considered how to deal with the industry-wide computer problem that stems from a failure to recognize the two-digit date "00" as 2000. Left uncorrected, the glitch could cause malfunctions in many systems, including embedded microchips operating biomedical equipment.

Other phases of NIH's Y2K project continue:

  • ICs are finalizing preparations in nearly 20,000 PC, Mac and Unix systems.
  • ICs continue developing business continuity and contingency plans, including "Day One" procedures, as backup measures.
  • Principal investigators must certify their laboratories have undergone Y2K assessment and management preparations for any date/time-sensitive biomedical equipment.
  • Any system involved in the care of patients or animals must be certified Y2K-compliant and inventoried for auditors to check.

Visit for the complete picture with Y2K progress reports, evaluation tips, and related links, including CIT's interactive clearinghouses for IT and biomedical equipment where you can search the compliance of hundreds of software and hardware products. If you need specific assistance in readying office or laboratory systems for Y2K, call GO CIT (4-6248).

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