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Making a difference in how people find health information, today and into the future.

Putting People First

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Digital Strategy. The new buzzword. A fancy way (in government-speak) of saying we’re going to manage the Web strategically; cut loose our content, work better and put people first. We have a start, but we have miles to go, and we need you to help guide the way.

The concept rocks! But it demands serious change. We need your ideas. We need to ask your opinion. And we will listen.

HHS is fortunate. We are a leader in much of what the new Digital Strategy embraces. Click the four tabs above to see some of our initial efforts. From making cancer information available on smartphones to creating APIs that let people learn about influences on health in their communities; from creating one-stop shopping for critical information to opening our content to persons with disabilities, we are putting people first.

Beneath each tab, we ask you to tell us what you think, and to suggest next steps. Our goal is to provide public health information—any time, any place and on any device—so it’s available whenever and wherever you need it.

Your comments will be posted. People will be invited to post thoughts and ideas and you are encouraged to respond to others' comments. We want and need a dialogue. And then we’ll close the loop, explaining how your collective comments—along with the metrics we collect on user experience—have impacted and influenced our work.

Much more to come. Please return often and engage with us! We have a rare opportunity to create a new web paradigm—one that draws people in, even as we let our content out. Please let me know what you think as we expand this new way of doing our digital business.

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Comments

Submitted by kathy on
Make the plans searchable so that we do not buy coverage that we don't need. I don't need benefits for children (mine are grown) and I don't need pregnancy coverage, for instance. I would like eye exams and dental visits for cleaning and x-rays.
Submitted by Anonymous on
Right now we need concentration on ISAAC
Submitted by Anonymous on
Without Medicare and CMS providing a home infusion benefit and requiring people to be in a hospital when it is not necessary or forced to stay in longer than necessary is not an example of putting people first. In fact it is taking seniors and the disabled and putting them last.
Submitted by Anonymous on
I like the idea of taking health issues to the people wherever they maybe it's time to get away from pamphlets that no one will see hidden away in doctor's offices, just as you advertise a new car or iphone, you must approach outside of the ill informed closet that medicine typicality through out bits and pieces of information requiring a potential patient to search on there own to look up unfamilar terminology to understand that it's me they're talking to and those are the symptoms that I am experiencing.. invite Spiritual Leaders or go to they're worship places leave signage and other forms of media that are large enough to be seen from a far, live with colors that invite the eyes in and ask the questions, inform the reader and send in nurses and Doctors to teach, enlighten, challenge and implore. paint stores, schools, neighborhood gyms, gas stations, Drug and Grocery stores, emails, voicemail, twitter and Facebook, creative writing inserts for movies, television and radio...Beauty and Barbershops are key meeting places in most communities. approaching all small and large businesses so information becomes inescapable
Submitted by Anonymous on
This souns good, but I'll have to see the results before making a final decision. Theough the years I've become a "I'm from Missouri" type person.
Submitted by Anonymous on
Start with a "process-based" approach. Bi directional. What process are users reaching out to complete, and what process is the organization trying to fulfill by posting the website. Information currently available seems to be dumped with little discernible rhyme or reason to the lay person. I'm not a dummy, but I've mostly given up trying to make sense of the labyrinthine repositories of information - and I'm a small business owner who could use some assistance...
Submitted by Anonymous on
You could start by putting this strategy out there as a printer-friendly pdf and using a font that people over the age of 40 could read. This web page locks up every time I try to scroll through it.
Submitted by Anonymous on
Have you connected with Health Departments in Michigan? I am a nurse educator and would like one stop access to health indicators for Michigan. [name removed for privacy]
Submitted by Anonymous on
To all those who commented on the disparity between health insurance and dental insurance YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! I went for my first appointment with a private dental insurance company where ONLY xrays were taken, and in order for me to get a cleaning, I was asked to sign a consent form totaling OVER $2,000.00! There was no where to report this dental scam to. I refused to sign the consent and never returned to the dental office I was referred to by Blue Shield.
Submitted by Anonymous on
Technology is great, however I work with the elderly population in the government arena. We have a program that they sign up for which allows them to send a confidential e-mail to their providers as well as order medications and make appointments. Many use this tool, but there are a greater # who do not. Unless you have been exposed to computers many elderly patients do not want to have to learn something new in order to reach their providers. Many elderly patients do not want or cannot grasp this consept, and they should not be forced to. With that being said what about protecting PHI (personel health information) HIPPA laws. Our system is encrypted, how do you plan to protect information?
Submitted by Anonymous on
Very pleased to see this new project. I will check in periodically and otherwise enpage whenever I can. [name withheld for privacy]
Submitted by Anonymous on
ditto to the person speaking up regarding dental care and I would like to add vision care. We need help here!
Submitted by Anonymous on
I suggest you engage with health literacy experts to ensure that the digital systems that you put in place allow users to understand the information, to communicate about it better and to actually act on it. Principles of this include things like using plain language, having a system to check for understanding, testing a new component with the intended audience and making sure that specific actions or behaviors are clearly stated and supported. (For example, see the comment from 8/28 4:37 PM! :)
Submitted by Anonymous on
I could not agree more with the person who posted on 8/28 and commented on the need for more information on dental insurance. There is a huge disconnect between health insurance and dental insurance. The issue here is that most often our dental well-being *is* directly related to our physical health. But, as the poster of 8/28 noted, we literally need to take out a loan to get much needed procedures done.
Submitted by Anonymous on
I work with Native American elders which is a unique population and I am wondering if this strategy will be utilized throughout Indian Country where most of the time internet is hard to get.
Submitted by Anonymous on
15 comments over the past week, but I don't see any engagement with the host. It isn't engagement if people post and never hear back. Do you take the comments back to a secret committee? Does an underling aprove stuff that do not have curse words? Is there a report to leadership? How does this "engagement" impact the decisions of HHS? Or NIH? Or the government? Some good and interesting ideas on this post. But then they are just sitting here. Kinda lonely.
Submitted by Anonymous on
How do you plan to inform the general public that this information is available in a new format? Not everyone subscribes dot gov email distribution lists. The people who really need the information are undoubtedly in the group that doesn't.
Submitted by Anonymous on
How can we get more computers to rural and urban America so that they have better access to the Internet? The government has done a good job of reaching libraries and providing information, but can we reach more Americans. Teaching STEM early is key as well as getting our rural and urban populations, in addition to children trained in computer technology as soon as possible.
Submitted by Anonymous on
Reaching out to faith base organizations, community centers, Salvation army and housing authority to educate them on how to survive a disaster
Submitted by Anonymous on
YOU NEED TO BE LINKED INTO A NETWORK OF HEALTH MINISTRIES WITH MULTI-DENOMINATIONAL INNER CITY CHURCHES. [name withheld for privacy]
Submitted by Anonymous on
I am a senior. I have a business where I help individuals to find the most current, valid, reliable information on how to remain healthy, active and engaged by being their own health care activate. I use a droid. I would not turn to my phone when told I have a serious illness or need a new treatment course. I want to think about it and do research in many different areas before I make a decision on what course of treatment to take.
Submitted by Anonymous on
I'm sorry, but this sounds like so much management speak, the kind of thing you have to say, not because it is so revolutionary but more because a new manager is in charge and putting his mark on things. If you really want to speak clearly to your audience, the people, why call this "digital strategy," a term that clearly begs definition. Can't you just say clearly what you want to say? And BTW, I think the government web sites have generally been leaders in how web sites should be done. Truth be known, HHS has been at the forefront of this. HHS and other government agencies have applied the science of usability and testing and spread the word among themselves, unlike many commercial web sites that prefer razzle-dazzle. Your tone seems to imply that the government has been behind the curve and that just is not true.
Submitted by Anonymous on
An app should move people to do what they know they should. It should ask, "How many push-ups have you done today?" "Are you slumping in your chair? Get up and move every 20 minutes."
Submitted by Anonymous on
You needed information on Dental Insurance. In my opinion, dental costs are ludicrous! The dental insurance today covers xrays and cleaning. If you need a root canal or crown, then you have to take out a loan.
Submitted by Anonymous on
there are many agencies involved in digital health, from those specifically responsible for standards, those involved in HIPAA and HITECH, those involved in review of medical devices, those involved specifically in security, those involved in fraud and abuse case detection... Seems like it will be quite a chore to get all these agencies and programs to work together. especially since states also have programs involved.

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