This webinar is offering practical advice on using data to assess the impact of the Affordable Care Act on healthcare in California.
Really great webinar because it:
I felt all of it was really relevant.
This info sesh was sponsored by the California Health Care Foundation, produced by Dr. Carmen Nevarez from the Public Health Institute, and moderated by Karen Shore from the Center for Health Improvement. The State of California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) was very involved and gave three presentations. Impressive meeting of the minds =)
One thing I learned: There is an organization at the University of Minnesota which helps states understand and make use of their health data assets. It’s called shadac. Really cool stuff and their publications are accessible online at www.shadac.org
Today’s webinar slides are located at http://www.dialogue4health.org/webforums/9_19_12.html#presentations
Before I forget:
- how to plan your EMS data system to meet your business needs
- why regional data standards are insufficient to meet hospital level data needs
- hospital data systems are our information lifelines… we must set them up for success
- first responders have the first opportunity to collect high-value information upon arrival to a 911 scene… we need their data!
- legal considerations for health data exchange
It’s easy to find information about why we should make government data more open and readable. But it’s been a lot harder for me to find the how-to guide.
When it comes to researching “how to do things” online, I used to think of myself as pretty resourceful… but learning about how to open up gov data has been a challenge. And my program is especially difficult because the raw data I work with is personal to both patients and providers, which means it must first be rendered into a non-personal format before it can be shared.
Liability is the first thing most government people think about. This is especially true when personal health data is the topic. So I need a way to clearly explain open data and personal health data concepts to non-tech people. Here are some of the questions we’ve had:
These are questions that I can’t answer on my own. But if I don’t have an action plan for getting answers, there’s no way I’ll be able to convince my colleagues or local agencies to do more sharing. Many of us have some sort of access to attorneys, but this is often quite limited.
Then there are the nuts and bolts of actual sharing. To give you tech industry people an idea of how us common folk think about this stuff, here are some highlights from my own journey:
I know it’s a tall order and it’s not feasible to teach everyone how to manipulate data… but lots of us government folks need some guidelines.
I just discovered this resource wiki at Civic Commons, which is incredible: http://wiki.civiccommons.org/Open_Data_Guidelines. I haven’t seen anything nearly this helpful to date. If anyone knows of any similar “plain English” resources for health-specific data guidelines, please let me know!!
Validation and widespread adoption of CPR didn’t start until the 50s. The earliest prehospital medical care systems didn’t start until around 1970. Look how far we’ve come in EMS in such short time!
Here’s the best part: We’ve only had decent Internet since the 90s. From here on out, EMS system development is sure to snowballI. With so much data and insight at our fingertips (via the web), our industry may very well be facing a renaissance period. Exciting times!
I’m re-reading a chapter from the Kimball Group’s Data Warehouse Lifecycle Toolkit, Second Edition (Wiley, 2008). There are some fantastic thoughts here:
Michael Hammer, in his book, Reengineering the Corporation (Collins, revised 2003) struck to the heart of the data quality problem with a brilliant observation. Paraphrasing Hammer: “Seemingly small data quality issues are, in reality, important indications of broken business processes”
I think we all agree that health data quality begins at the point of care. If our data collectors in the trenches aren’t happy and empowered to collect great data, then we’ll never get good information out of our data systems. In the medical world, I think the broken business processes are the unfair expectations we often place on our clinical data collectors. Some examples:
The good news is that I’ve never met someone in this profession who didn’t want to collect better data. In fact, many trauma registrars and ems data folks jump at any opportunity to learn how to do their jobs better. Tons and tons of passion. So in my usual tendency to exploit promising resources, I ask this question: How do we capitalize on all of this dedication and specialized talent? Some ideas:
1. Take the time to understand the data collection workflow.
Managers should do the data collection job for an hour once per month. Administrators should try it for an hour as well, at least quarterly.
2. Scrutinize the workflow and attack bottlenecks and high-risk quality issues.
Usually requires buy in from the higher-ups.
3. Challenge traditional data management strategies.
It’s not about the software we buy. It’s about the day-to-day operations that occur around the software. These are the activities of our business users, who in my case are government workers, local agency staff, clinicians, etc. We have to fight the myth that data system compliance can be purchased from a vendor.
4. Celebrate the good people who work in the trenches.
Also from the Kimball text:
… Technical attempts to address data quality will not prevail unless they are part of an overall quality culture that must come from the top of an organization.
Data collection is hard. Recognition goes a long way. Leaders in our industry such as such as the American College of Surgeons and National Trauma Data Bank, continue to champion the trauma registry profession as technical, highly specialized, and critical to improving trauma care. Their strong example will pay dividends to our trauma systems!
It feels really good to be a government worker today.
I didn’t realize how much public information was out there in the world until I started working for California. Why is it, though, that I can never seem to find this “public” information when I need it? I’m pretty nosy, so if I can’t dig into something then we have a problem.
So today we are blowing up a few data silos. I assembled a few tables of emergency medical services data (all of which is already considered public) and put it all in one place. Here’s a list of some cool things you can do with this stuff:
Next on the list are ambulance companies, fire departments, and more key players who take good care of us when we need them most.
Happy data visualizing =)
PS The spreadsheets and Google Fusion Tables are here.