New HHS AHRQ Director outlines vision, to include a data-driven digital enterprise platform

AHRQ 2.0: Strategies for Creating Value in the Digital Age, By Gopal Khanna, M.B.A.

“Health care is constantly evolving. The business of improving people’s health has spawned what sometimes feels like an infinite stream of new technologies, ground-breaking treatments, and innovative models of care.

Along with these advancements has come an ever-growing repository of information: data.

The potential of this information to improve the Nation’s health cannot be overstated. I believe passionately that the opportunities for using data from multiple sources to rethink and continuously improve our approach to patient care are nearly infinite. The time to seize these opportunities is now.

I’ve been working for weeks with AHRQ staff, health system leaders, researchers, and other stakeholders to formulate strategies that would achieve these goals. The result is a four-part vision designed to affirm the Agency as a leader in burgeoning efforts in the health services research space to improve the safety and quality of patient care through increased use of data.

In future blog posts I will address each of these four elements in detail. But for now, allow me to outline my vision:

Developing a platform to create data-informed insights. AHRQ already produces two powerful data sets that are frequently used by health care decision makers: Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) and Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). By linking them with Federal, State, and private data sets and applying AHRQ’s talents in data analysis, AHRQ will produce powerful tools to support evidence-informed policy making. I call this a data-driven digital enterprise platform. While building this won’t be easy, it is necessary. I know we can do this. AHRQ researchers recently drew on Agency data to explore how previous hurricane-related spikes in hospital care might inform response to current or future disasters. Such predictive analytics have great promise to improve decision-making both within and outside of government.

Catalyzing the evolution of learning health systems. Health care delivery organizations are rich with data and data are the fuel that transforms any health care delivery organization into a learning health system. In learning health systems, internal clinical data are systematically collected and analyzed (along with appropriate external data) to inform improvements in clinical practice. The ongoing use of data…” Read More Here

G2X TAKE: AHRQ is one of the smaller agencies under the HHS umbrella, but this post by the new Director, Gopal Khanna, is worth a read as it outlines his vision for AHRQ: to serve as a leader in burgeoning efforts in the health services research space, and to improve the safety and quality of patient care through increased use of data.

Funding does not always follow vision and AHRQ remains a candidate agency to get folded under NIH at some point, but with a couple flagship programs and a leader working to bring change, industry may want to take notice.



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