Liberating data for health care and social services transformation. The Health Data Initiative (HDI) is a movement established in 2010 within HHS operating and staff divisions to make health data openly available, disseminate the data broadly across the health and human services ecosystem, and continuously educate internal and external participants about the value of data. The mission of the initiative is to improve health, health care, and the delivery of human services by harnessing the power of data and fostering a culture of innovative uses of data in public and private sector institutions, communities, research groups and policy making arenas.
One goal is to harness the power of health data to to create additional value for the nation with an ongoing goal of unleashing the power of private-sector innovators and entrepreneurs to utilize HHS data resources to in the creation of applications, products, and services that positively impact health and health care. In addition the HDI is helping to catalyze the emergence of a decentralized, self-propelled “ecosystem” of innovators across America who leverage HHS data combined with a wide array of data resources. That ecosystem includes organizations upon which the HDI will rely on for feedback and intelligence that facilitate the democratization of health data and/or advocate for the innovative and responsible use of health data.
The default setting for data at HHS has changed from closed to open. This has resulted in the launch of an all new HealthData.gov in 2012, the liberation of over 2,000 datasets to date, and more entrepreneurs solving health care problems than ever before. In October 2013, the Health Data Initiative released the first-ever open data strategy and execution plan, which details five data-driven goals for the initiative.
History of HHS Health Data Initiative
The HDI was launched in 2010 partnership with Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) after a meeting between leaders from federal agencies, academia, social sectors, public health communities, information technology firms, major businesses, and health care delivery systems. This group formed the Community Health Data Initiative which was initially focused on population health and administrative claims data. In 2012, a partnership arrangement with the Institute of Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and multiple other organizations led to the establishment of the Health Data Consortium, a group of influential organizations that encourages innovators to utilize health data to develop applications to raise awareness of health and health system performance and spark community action to improve health.