As the lead federal agency charged with providing health and human services to all Americans, the challenges facing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are tremendous. Whether it is providing millions of children, families, and seniors with access to high-quality health care, keeping the food on Americans’ shelves safe and infectious diseases at bay, or exploring new frontiers of biomedical research, we are working every day to give Americans the building blocks they need to live healthy and successful lives.
Transparency, collaboration, and participation are the key principles of Open Government. By sharing our data with the American people, we are creating new opportunities to develop products and services that can improve health and health care; by creating mechanisms for the public to contribute their ideas and share in the co-creation of solutions, we can harness the energy and expertise both inside and outside the government to achieve our goals.
Two years ago, we created our first Open Government plan. It featured five flagship initiatives and numerous actions to promote transparency, collaboration, and participation. HHS used this plan to make huge strides in publicly releasing strategic data assets. For example, we undertook important new initiatives such as the Health Data Initiative, which served as a key forum for our data liberation efforts. We also used new mechanisms, such as challenge competitions and broader engagement of social media, to let the public share fresh approaches with the Department. Our first Open Government plan was hailed as a model throughout government.
This plan is our second Open Government plan and is intended to build on our initial success. Our second plan provides key updates to previous initiatives as well as new approaches that we pledge to undertake in the next two years to further promote transparency, collaboration, and participation at HHS. This plan also incorporates new themes such as ”smart disclosure,” meaning that we will try to provide data to the public in ways to help Americans make more informed health and health care choices. In this new plan, we also identified three new flagship theme initiatives for HHS. These represent high-impact, cross-cutting and innovative approaches in areas such as advancing medical products, promoting culture change and innovation through an innovators program, and enhanced data quality and usability.
Achieving these goals will not be easy and we will need the help of our stakeholders, our employees, and the American people. Our Open Government team looks forward to providing periodic updates on our progress as we work together to carry out the vision set forth in this document.