About the Initiative
From across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), its many agencies collect a vast array of data to better understand the health of the nation. The Office of the CTO has been a leader in the federal government in enabling the public release of more than 1,500 data sets collected by HHS for use by researchers and entrepreneurs. The Open Data movement continues to be a focus of the Department and the Office of the CTO is committed to fostering the use of data for social good.
HHS is also examining how it is currently using its own data assets to make more evidence-based policy decisions. Sharing data internally at HHS and across its many different agencies is a priority. The Data Insights Initiative is exploring HHS’ data assets across all agencies and the ways in which data can be shared and connected in responsible ways to improve how HHS delivers on its mission. The Office is interested in identifying models of effective sharing and looking for opportunities to address inefficiencies.
This effort is being led by Dr. Mona Siddiqui, the Chief Data Officer at HHS.
The work of the Data Insights Initiative has four key areas of focus:
- Governance includes rules, policies and processes related to who is able access data and how access to HHS data is streamlined. Through this initiative, we will be evaluating the current processes in place for HHS agencies to access each other’s data in order to create a more transparent and accountable process.
- Legal Framing will include reviewing existing data use agreements and contracts and harmonizing and standardizing agreements to decrease the burden on HHS researchers needing access to data to more effectively manage resources and programs.
- Analytics will focus on demonstrating business value from connecting disparate data both within HHS as well as external data resources. Bringing data together for evidence based decision making is the ultimate purpose of this work.
- Partnerships and Open Data ensure that our data is used beyond internal decision making and is available to multiple and diverse stakeholders. This positions HHS’ data assets as a valued resource in tackling and developing comprehensive responses to complex health issues and informs strategies to prevent and address priority areas. In December, we hosted the HHS Opioid Code-a-Thon, a 3-day challenge competition bringing together teams from across the country to explore new and existing public use federal data sets geared towards understanding and addressing the opioid epidemic through innovative data-driven solutions.
We are proud of our work in the past several years on promoting Open Data and are continuing to build upon these efforts to make publicly-funded data available on healthdata.gov. We welcome your feedback. Please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We strive to have an open and transparent approach to leveraging HHS data assets to solve critical problems and will continue to keep you updated on our progress. Please share your thoughts, questions, and feedback at @HHSIDEALab or email@example.com.