• Ideas

HHS Connects

What Is It?

Working Towards the Frictionless Exchange of Ideas. HHS Connects, an HHS IDEA Lab sponsored project,  links people internal and external to the Department with resources and ideas to increase the likelihood of serendipitous collisions, resource sharing and collaboration on multiple levels.  HHS Connects has a number of platforms to support increased communication and collaboration and none have been more successful than the implementation and adoption of our internal, cross-Department collaboration platform in 2012.

To date, there are over 17,000 HHS employees connecting and collaborating virtually across every Operating and Staff Division. In addition to the cross-Department collaboration platform, the Department revised its social media policy to give HHS agencies easier access to tools that will increase public engagement resulting in a more transparent government.


Yammer – Connecting leadership and frontline staff. Originally a pilot at the National Institutes of Health and adopted Department-wide in 2011, Yammer is an internal social media network that is being used to allow people across the Department to communicate and collaborate.

IDEA Lab Blog – Want to learn about the latest news and newest opportunities with the HHS IDEA Lab or want to share a story of innovation or a new opportunity? That is what the IDEA Lab Blog is for, to connect people internally and externally based on new topics, opportunities and experiences.

Social Media Channels – At the IDEA Lab, we believe that ideas come from both inside and outside of the Department of Health and Human Services. We use our different social media channels, such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to interact, answer questions, share new opportunities and basically connect with those interested in innovation and experimentation in health care and government.

Why is it Important?

The Department of Health and Human Services has a workforce of 90,000 people strong in 10 operating divisions and 16 staff divisions.  Often in an organization this size, there is a level of bureaucracy – a bureaucracy that is necessary at some levels of operation – that can become too burdensome and too regimented resulting in duplication of effort, stifling of new ideas, and waste of resources.  To help the 90,000 people Department-wide, we are testing and adopting new pathways that will help people connect to each other. By doing so, we can reduce duplication of effort across government, empower employees to interact and collaborate across the Department and provide new pathways for innovation and experimentation – all of which will help the 90,000 HHS employees better serve the 311 million people across the United States.

Not all good ideas are formulated inside of the Department, a key part of the HHS IDEA Lab is connecting internal and external innovators together. This type of matchmaking has lead to new ideas, the introduction and adoption of new methodologies, better understanding of external needs and increased cross sector/cross topic collaboration.

Who is this for?

HHS Connects is focused on improving communication and collaboration for people interacting with the Department of Health and Human Services.

When can I get involved with HHS Connects?

Communication and collaboration in and outside the Department are going on 24/7.

How to participate

There are multiple ways to participate in the different platforms that make up HHS Connects.

The HHS Yammer Network can be accessed here.

The HHS IDEA Lab blog can be found here.

Follow the HHS IDEA Lab on Twitter.

Like the HHS IDEA Lab on Facebook.

A federal government Website managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W. - Washington, D.C. 20201