Data Strategy at HHS

Mona Siddiqui M.D, Chief Data Officer in the Office of the Chief Technology Officer at HHS, https://www.hhs.gov/cto spoke on December 16, 2019 at a briefing moderated by Sarah J. Dash, President and CEO for the Alliance for Health Policy https://www.allhealthpolicy.org.

Dr. Siddiqui is leading the strategy to connect the nation’s healthcare data to drive a more evidence-based organization and also to build and implement the first HHS enterprise-wide data governance structure and data sharing platform.

As Dr. Siddiqui mentioned, the report released on December 16, 2019 titled “Leveraging Data for the Nation’s Health-a Vision for Inter-Agency Data Sharing for HHS” includes the section “Enabling Technologies for Data Sharing”. Data sharing means that each agency will continue to host, maintain, and own the data it collects, and may also determine who may have access to their data.

Dr. Siddiqui stressed the importance of engaging in conversation with stakeholders. The independent nonprofit “Center for Open Data Enterprise” (CODE) and Dr. Siddiqui recently co-hosted three roundtables to find ways to improve how health data can be shared and used effectively by the public.

The first Roundtable on “Sharing and Utilizing Health Data for AI Applications” was held on April 16, 2019. This roundtable included over 70 experts from government, industry, clinical research institutions, nonprofit organizations, and academia, to discuss ways to identify high priority health applications of AI and other key issues.

The second Roundtable on “Balancing Privacy with Health Data Access” was held July 15, 2019 to discuss issues not only related only to data privacy but to speak to patients and patient advocates from a variety of organizatiowho provided insight into health data privacy from the patient’s perspective.

The third Roundtable “Leveraging Data on Social Determinants of Health”, took place on October 4, 2019 to explore new strategies for combining Social Determinants of Health data with research, clinical, and public health data to emphasize socially focused healthcare.

Dr. Siddiqui reports that HHS is investing resources in a data science training program with more than 550 employees applying to join the training program. The goal is to train the workforce on how to develop the internal capacity to use what HHS is building so individuals will be able to build and collaborate on problems. It is important for data to be used effectively not only at HHS but throughout the Federal sector.

Go to https://www.hhs.gov/cto/initiatives/data-initiative/index.html for more information on the three Roundtables.

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