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HHS Addressing Inequities in Health Care Using Better Data Analysis

Improving health care


HHS Addressing Inequities in Health Care Using Better Data Analysis

The Department of Health and Human Services is thinking outside the box in what has been called “a multi-sector, complex approach” in a bid to fill the gaps in health care delivery, a department official said. Kristen Honey, chief data scientist and senior adviser at HHS, said data and interoperability can advance equity and bridge disparities in health.

Honey said that one program the department has launched to align with its open data priorities is HHS Protect, the agency’s COVID-19 biosurveillance system. The program has served as a common vantage point for HHS leaders and their counterparts in other agencies by making data more understandable and, thus, a better guide to decision-making.

Amid a persistent pandemic, Honey said the HHS has turned to analyzing data to derive novel insights which, in turn, is fed to different divisions, helping them find innovations. The HHS has taken a whole-of-department approach to its data collection efforts, she said.

The HHS’ current path has taken a three-pronged approach: developing a data pipeline, creating an open data ecosystem and building trust, FedHealthIT reported Thursday.

Honey emphasized that COVID-19 has outlined the importance of trust in government, solutions and science. Without trust in the data behind governance, it is difficult to have people following guidelines and mandates, she added.

HHS has pushed the idea of “radical transparency” to show trustworthiness. In line with this goal, HHS is pioneering a new data effort to get to the root cause of health disparities, not only within the health care setting but also across the social environment, Honey was quoted in a GovernmentCIO report.

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Category: Federal Civilian

Tags: COVID-19 data Department of Health and Human Services federal civilian FedHealthIT GovernmentCIO HHS open data priorities