In July 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS/Department) released its second version of the Open Government Plan, which incorporated nearly 50 projects and activities focused on transparency, collaboration, and participation. In that plan, we also incorporated a new effort in whistleblower protections, digital services strategies, and proactive disclosure mechanism. Since then, we continue to follow the course of these initiatives and have made important contributions and progress toward the goals set forth in the plan.
For our Version 3.0 plan, we also implemented seven cross-cutting flagship initiatives. Major expansion of the data transparency effort has taken place throughout most all of the HHS agencies. Technology enhancements to enable better use of the data, promotion of machine-to-machine interactions that provide better quality services to the public, and an underscoring of the roles of agencies in achieving modern information age services have taken hold throughout the HHS Operating and Staff divisions (OPDIVs and STAFFDIVs, respectively). Over the last two years, there have been major investments of resources and talent from HHS programs in developing infrastructure, staff, and program management to address “big data” efforts. Further progress was achieved in understanding better uses of information, such as through behavioral insights and user design principles, to build better tools and services to serve the public. The efforts over the last two years have transitioned from the initial efforts of data liberation toward enhanced usability and improvements in health and health care.
HHS has established several administrative structures to focus on data quality and usability. These efforts have brought increased user input into the design of healthdata.gov and other information resources that support the broad communities of data users. Across HHS there has been an intense effort to use data within programs, promote innovations through challenge competitions, and place greater emphasis on project designs to use metrics and data reporting as a means to make more informed decisions along the project life cycle.