AHRQ Views: Blog posts from AHRQ leaders
Health Datapalooza: That's Our Kind of Party!
AcademyHealth describes its annual Health Datapalooza as an event that brings together people from the public and private sectors to "learn how health and health care can be improved by harnessing the power of data."
So, naturally, save a seat for us!
The agenda is packed for this year's 8th annual event, with sessions scheduled about data's growing role in everything from patient empowerment to genomics to public health surveillance. This morning, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Dr. Tom Price, will deliver opening remarks to help kick off the 2-day event.
AHRQ will be an active participant. This morning we'll moderate a panel discussion—"Tearing Down the Tower of Babel in Outcome Measures"—that will describe how harmonized outcome measures are needed to support patient care that's high-quality, efficient, and value-based. Panelists will introduce the Outcome Measures Framework, a conceptual model for classifying outcomes that are relevant to both clinicians and patients.
On Friday we'll be represented in a discussion on "Analytics & Patient Decision Support." In that session, presenters will describe AHRQ’s Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Clinical Decision Support Learning Network, a project that illustrates ways that health information technology can improve quality and shared decisionmaking with patients.
AHRQ's participation in Health Datapalooza illustrates the Agency’s ongoing commitment to develop and provide data to help make health care safer and higher quality. AHRQ also supports the use of data by health care organizations that strive to become learning health care systems. Here are some examples of AHRQ's continuing investments in health care data:
- AHRQ's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) is the only national data source measuring how Americans use and pay for medical care. Annual surveys of individuals and families, as well as their health care providers, provide data on health status, the use of and payment for medical services, insurance coverage, and access and satisfaction with care. Most MEPS data is available without charge, and our MEPSNet query tools provide online access to household and insurance data. Since 1996, MEPS data have been cited in nearly 3,000 peer-reviewed articles and 500 statistical briefs.
- The Agency's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) is the Nation's most comprehensive source of hospital data. Researchers can generate their own statistical tables and graphs using HCUPnet as well as purchase administrative databases on inpatient stays, emergency department visits, ambulatory surgery, and readmissions/revisits. In addition, our Fast Stats resource provides data on specific topics such as inpatient visits by payer and opioid-related hospital stays. More than 4,500 peer-reviewed articles have been published using HCUP data.
- To support the continued generation and use of health data, AHRQ recently announced funding opportunities for projects to implement and evaluate health information technologies. Up to $1.2 million is available for projects that would collect and use patient-reported outcome data in primary care and other ambulatory settings. Up to $300,000 is available for projects to explore how health information technology can improve health care quality and outcomes.
Clearly, AHRQ is an organization that believes robust, relevant data is essential to ongoing efforts to improve the safety and quality of health care. We hope you'll be among the attendees at Health Datapalooza. If so, come see us at Booth #102!
Dr. Arnold is Acting Director of AHRQ.