Data: Come out, come out, wherever you are!
Data can transform how maternity care is organized, delivered, and experienced. I’ve written this before, and I think most of the readers of this blog would agree.
But data can’t do anything if it’s hiding.
Last year, I watched DHHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, announce the Community Health Data Initiative and saw the results of the pilot phase. In just six weeks, developers took newly released or already available public data and created apps and visualizations that utterly transformed how I saw the future of health and public policy. I literally sat at the edge of my seat watching some of the demos.
Take, for example, this app from Palantir (prepare to have your mind blown)
With this tool, state and local policy makers can visualize the scope and intensity of the child poverty problem, see how child poverty relates to health conditions (in this example, teen pregnancy rates), map that data with the availability of services such as Boys and Girls Clubs, see what federal funding is available and where it has been targeted, identify the leaders on the ground, and see what they’re doing to address the issues. The tool, developed in just a matter of weeks and demoed in 11 minutes, “hopefully stops us from doing a 2 year survey of the area before we make any decisions.”
Then there’s Bing Health Search:
Just a few of the features: a patient searches for a hospital by name and quality and patient satisfaction data come up as part of the search results; a policy maker maps how food deserts correlate with diabetes rates (“a complex study is now reduced to an easy exercise”); or a person looking for real estate checks out local health indicators along with schools, taxes, and other data they might use to decide where to live.
(Interested in seeing more? Check out the Health 2.0 Gallery.)
Now it’s our turn.
Childbirth Connection has just partnered with Health 2.0 to issue the first challenge dealing with maternity care, with hopes of using this opportunity to translate the consensus vision of high-quality, high-value maternity care into action.
Create a data visualization tool that demonstrates geographic variation in access, procedure use, outcomes, and/or costs in maternity care to galvanize state and regional action for quality improvement.
The winning team gets a cash prize of $2,500, a meet and greet with health economist and author J.D. Kleinke (whose remarkable blog post on induction was making the rounds yesterday), and the opportunity to demo their data visualization at the Health 2.0 meeting in San Diego in March.
The expected user is a state or local policy maker or advocate. What kind of visualization would you like to see? What kinds of problems that might normally prompt policy makers to embark on a “2 year study” could be boiled down to an “easy exercise” with the right app? Share your wildest ideas in the comments. Or better yet – sign up to join a team!