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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Move Over, Richard Kiley. Here’s Why We Want to Combine Public Health Data with Health Care Data

Is it time to publicly merge workplace injury data with with health care delivery and re-engineer the system for greater efficiency. Prevention versus economic fiduciary interests of corporate American maybe be challenge. The economic savings in the long run may provide as major cost savings for workers' compensation insurance companies. Today's post was shared by RWJF PublicHealth and comes from

On reflection, we think this goal isn’t so quixotic. We’ve been thinking more and more about bridging the worlds of health care delivery and public health—how those two systems relate to each other and can reinforce each other in ways that improve health outcomes for populations and for individuals. And we see harnessing data as part of the path to that goal.

Currently, we’re seeing an explosion of data production from all sectors in health and health care and an increasing interest in harnessing that data for all sorts of purposes. The recent Health Datapalooza conference—which is hosted by another collaborator on this News Challenge, the Health Data Consortium—saw 2200 people gather to explore health and health care data and its uses.

There’s a long way to go. We have a lot of operational issues to address if we are to make full use of the data resources that exist, whether they be at the local, state or national level. We need to understand more about the data that are available and we need to get more comfortable using it and deploying it. We think that by mashing up public health and health care data, we can get a broader and clearer, though perhaps more complex, picture of what’s going on with health and care. We can think in a more informed way about the role our health care delivery system plays in improving community health and about what goals the delivery system should set for itself. And we can set goals...
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