Secretary’s Innovation Awards program - HHSInnovates!
By Todd Park
I’m very excited to update you about the implementation of a key part of our Open Government Plan – our new Secretary’s Innovation Awards program, HHSInnovates!
HHSInnovates is a new competition that we’ll be running twice per year here at HHS. Its purpose is to identify and celebrate the top innovations in how HHS does business – innovations that have succeeded in improving our service to the American public, including breakthroughs in HHS transparency, public engagement, and collaboration across HHS and with the world outside HHS.
So, here’s a short status report on our maiden voyage of HHSInnovates. We launched the inaugural round of HHSInnovates 6 weeks ago. Since then, over 126 submissions have come in from teams across HHS. Now, things are really getting interesting, as employees will be able to use Web 2.0 technology to vote and comment on those that they think are best – a process that kicked off this week! Based on employee voting and Secretary Sebelius’ selections, we will be announcing 3 winning submissions in about a month and will be promoting them as our leaders in HHS innovation. Talk about suspense!
As an added bonus, I recently had the opportunity to talk with Craig Newmark of Craig’s List, who is a maven for innovation in the federal workspace. Read what Craig’s got to say about our program by visiting his blog.
In early August, we’ll announce the three teams of winners – live and in person via the web – and launch an HHS Innovations Gallery to highlight these and other winning ideas at work for you! And I’ll be here to tell you more about the innovation breakthroughs on the day of the event. Stay tuned!
Todd, These initiatives are great to see coming. I look forward to learning of the winners! I would like to submit an idea to you for your consideration - the creation of a patient "place history" - similar to all the other histories that we provide to the medical community - but in this case citizen's retain control of this history and use it to "loan" to physicians in order to poll all the various governmental databases that contain geographically relevant health data (like TRI data) to mash up with the various places we live or have lived. You can see a prototype of this application at www.esri.com\geomedicine and how it would work for citizens to access government collected data. (The TRI data has been collected by EPA since 1987 to improve community health through informing communities so this means there is longitudinal data â€“ almost 24 years worth of valuable data) that is available. As far as I know this historical data is not available on the web in an easy to use fashion and certainly not available to profile the last 24 years of someoneâ€™s place history! Several complimentary information systems would need to be created such as 1.) A medical reference "hub" (in the cloud) that will search all health related databases containing site specific health data (like TRI, ATSDR, Pub-Med, etc, 2.)A "profiling" system - much like a clinical lab system that reports "panic" values against an array of tests and brings forth a consolidated report, and finally 3.) A linking system that allows a citizen to share their place history in real time to a medical clinic for the purpose of creating a geomedical patient profile. This is not a research project but information immediately useful to the clinician (a significant challenge to make useful to a practicing clinician) at the time of an examination. For all this wonderful health data that is collected in the name of "better health" I think it needs to be become personal and locational specific. It has the potential of not only improving public health but personal health in a very direct way. I applaud you and the Secretary for launching this important initative. It is long overdue and portends to bring some "meaningful use" to all the great health data that DHHS has collected over several decades. I believe that by liberating more data and encouraging the development of useful applications that leverage existing data will go a long way to garner even greater support for DHHS's many statistical programs. I look forward to participating in developing some useful application as well!