Innovation as a Problem Solving Tool in Government
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) faces an increasingly complex mission amidst rapid technological change.
It has been my honor to serve as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO), working with and supporting colleagues across HHS to improve operations and more efficiently deliver services to the American people. As I close out my time here, I'd like to highlight the accomplishments of our front-line public servants.
The Office of the CTO is charged with promoting innovation and open data across the Department. Our approach to the challenge of creating a culture of innovation is to help HHS employees and leaders shine a spotlight on a problem, and then invite people from the private sector to contribute their expertise. HHS employees also use our programs to test and develop their ideas in an entrepreneurial environment.
Our programs include:
Ignite Accelerator: Empowering front-line HHS staff to test new ideas
71 teams have participated, with 13 new teams starting their training on January 30.
Ventures Fund: Investing in and scaling internal innovations that dramatically improve HHS's capabilities
11 projects supported, with a record number of applicants now being considered for the 2017 round.
Innovates Awards: Celebrating trailblazers from across the Department
50% of awardees had partnered with organizations outside of government.
Entrepreneurs-in-Residence: Recruiting outside talent to solve complex challenges
21 entrepreneurs have joined HHS to complete a tour of duty and we are currently recruiting for a systems architect.
Competes: Tapping into the ingenuity of the American people to solve problems
140+ prize competitions have attracted 9,000+ participants from across the U.S to source solutions.
Health Data: Unleashing the power of open data to improve health and human services
3,000 data sets are now publicly available, up from 30 in 2010.
Invent Health: Identifying emerging opportunities and challenges in health and technology
Stimulated a national conversation on hardware innovation in health.
Buyers Club: Modernizing IT acquisition by testing new methods
100% of directly-supported projects awarded contracts to small businesses.
We have made significant progress in helping teams and individuals think of new ways to tackle important challenges. But there's much more that can be done. As you read about each program, I invite you to consider how innovation and entrepreneurship might continue to help HHS better deliver on our mission to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans.