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HHS Data Strategy Looks to Expand Human Services Interoperability

A new HHS data strategy outlines several data integration goals, including expanding ONC's role to include the coordination of human services interoperability.

The Department of Health and Human Services has released a new data strategy, which includes the expansion of the role of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to include coordination of human services interoperability.

The data strategy outlines the department's priorities and initiatives to safely and effectively leverage data to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans. The strategy focuses on goals for the next five years. HHS intends to periodically review the strategy's content to ensure it is meeting the department's evolving needs. 

The data strategy's five overarching priorities are:

  • Cultivating data talent to meet the data workforce needs of HHS now and in the future.
  • Fostering data sharing to provide high-quality, easily usable data and metadata across HHS and external partners to improve care.
  • Integrating administrative data into program operations and decisions at all levels.
  • Leveraging data to establish a whole-person and whole-family view of wellness.
  • Improving quality, efficiency, access, and outcomes in health and human services through the responsible use of AI.

"This data strategy is a pivotal step forward in our commitment to utilizing data as a strategic asset to drive innovation and improve outcomes in health and human services," Andrea Palm, deputy secretary of HHS, said in a public statement.

"By harnessing the power of information and leveraging recent technological advancements, we're better equipped to meet the evolving needs of the people and communities we serve," Palm continued.

Micky Tripathi, PhD, national coordinator for health information technology, noted that ONC is eager to support the data strategy's vision for human services interoperability.

"Better integration of healthcare delivery and human services is critical to strengthening 'whole-person' care, advancing health equity, and improving customer experience," said Micky Tripathi, PhD, national coordinator for health information technology.

The strategy also promotes greater access to data to advance cancer research, improve patient outcomes, and advance the goal of the Biden Cancer Moonshot to cut the cancer death rate in half over the next 25 years.

"Synthesizing the vast amount of data across the full spectrum of cancer research and clinical care will be our best bet for reducing the cancer death rate by 50 percent within 25 years," said Monica Bertagnolli, MD, director of the National Institutes of Health.

"The data strategy will focus HHS activities on developing and implementing clinical data standards and expanding secure access to the data with the goal of unlocking the next generation of cancer prevention and treatment," she added.

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