The CHDI was modeled after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) work with weather data. The NOAA, the primary supplier of weather data in the U.S., publishes on the Internet free, high quality weather data, which is then accessed by the Weather Channel, iPhone application developers, news networks, and other users, who convert the data into products and services that can be easily accessed and understood by the general public. HHS is striving to do the same with community health data. To this end, a meeting of public and private technology innovators was assembled by the IOM in March 2010 to generate ideas. Following the March 2010 meeting, HHS launched the CHDI Web page, where they made datasets available for use and developers’ applications. Innovators used the data to build more than 20 applications, which were showcased for Secretary Sebelius at a meeting on June 2, 2010. Mr. Park provided examples of the applications that had been created.
Mr. Park also informed the Committee members that a new HHS Health Indicators Warehouse would be launched in December, 2010. He said that the Warehouse would be a publicly-available Web site where users can download up to 2,000 different health indicators by interest area. In addition to Healthy People 2020 data, the Warehouse would provide access to county health rankings, the underlying data that power county health rankings, community health statistics indicator data, and other datasets. Aggregated indicators for a variety of diseases and health outcomes will be available. Also included would be a new dataset of Medicare data on indicators of patterns of disease in the Medicare population, utilization of services, cost, and quality of care received. More information on the Warehouse is available at www.hhs.gov/open.
Mr. Park explained that HHS is committed to generating innovation through the CHDI. A centerpiece of this effort is a developer challenge called, “2010 Health 2.0,” which is being coordinated by an organization called Health 2.0. Health 2.0 is working with both government and non-government agencies to sponsor developers in the U.S. to build applications that can advance particular health objectives utilizing data from the CHDI and other sources. Applications that result from this challenge will be showcased at the Health 2.0 Conference in San Francisco in early October, 2010. Mr. Park argued that, to generate interest and participation from the public, publishing the data is not sufficient. The public must be aware that the data exist, and they must be provided with an explanation of how it impacts their lives.
IV. Discussion with Todd Park and Linda Bilheimer
Dr. Fielding asked Mr. Park to discuss the relationship between the CHDI and Healthy People 2020. Mr. Park explained that he views the CHDI as a vehicle through which Healthy People 2020 can be made more accessible to the public. The Healthy People 2020 metrics and data are central to the CHDI and the HHS Indicators Warehouse. The Indicators Warehouse will also contain a database of successful, evidence-based interventions that correspond to each indicator.
A Committee member asked Mr. Park whether the Indicators Warehouse would have the capability to generate output from Federal datasets and accept and contain datasets from reliable non-Federal sources, such as Los Angeles County. These could be linked into the system to enable benchmarking against national data. Mr. Park said that in the early stages, the Warehouse would make available definitive Federal datasets on public health and health care costs and quality. The HHS Indicators Warehouse would be one component of a broader Federal data supply, which will to be transitioning to the Data.gov site. Data.gov catalogues all Federal datasets that are available for download. HHS is currently talking with the Data.gov team about creating a health section that will house the Health Indicators Warehouse on the data.gov Web site. Mr. Park is hoping to create a place, potentially on the health section of Data.gov, where non-Federal datasets can be posted for technical use.
Dr. Fielding asked Mr. Park to discuss the methods HHS would employ to evaluate the effectiveness of this initiative. Mr. Park explained that in the initial phase of the CHDI, evaluation efforts would focus on gathering process metrics to answer questions such as: how many applications were created from the CHDI? How many participants (technology innovators) are involved? In reference to the 2010 Health 2.0 Developer Challenge, how many challenges are launched? How are these applications being used and by whom? HHS would also like to gather qualitative data on the usefulness of the applications and to document their impact on improving health performance and the health status of populations.
V. Other Web Related Activities
Dr. Manderscheid commented briefly on Sonoma County’s Network of Care for Healthy Communities “Community Dashboard,” (found online at: http://hcn.sonoma.networkofcare.org/). He explained that this application was among those that were showcased during the June 2, 2010 meeting; it is already live. He suggested that the Committee members review this application as a “real-world example” of the potential for health data to be made accessible and understandable to the public. Mr. Park added that a Web cast of the June 2nd meeting was also available at www.hhs.gov/open.
VI. Recommendations of the Subcommittees
Dr. Fielding led the Committee in discussion of and voting on outstanding Committee products so that these documents could be transmitted to the Secretary. These items included: the Supplementary Report on Societal Determinants of Health; a report on Evidence-based Clinical and Public Health Initiatives: Generating and Applying the Evidence; Recommendations of the Subcommittee on Action Steps and Evidence; and the Recommendations for Implementing Healthy People 2020. Dr. Fielding asked Subcommittee Chairs who led these efforts to explain their work.