Archived Page: HHS Data Council, Data Strategy Committee

03/16/2005

Purpose:

To develop recommendations to the Data Council for a multi-year HHS-wide data strategy that reflects a broad coordinated approach to data planning and is linked to investment planning and decision making in HHS; to undertake special analyses at the request of the Council and HHS leadership.

Background:

HHS plays an essential role in creating health and human services data and information for decision-making and action by:

  • developing and promoting strong data collection, analysis and dissemination systems,
  • collaborating as a partner with other health and human services entities in pursuing common data interests, and
  • serving as a national leader and convener in health and human services data policy.

To guide and support these activities, the Secretary has asked the HHS Data Council to develop a department-wide data strategy including both data collection and analysis activities, and encompassing both health and human services data. The HHS Survey Integration Initiative represented the initial stage of this effort. In addition, several departmentwide data plans and initiatives have been developed in various subject areas, such as race and ethnicity data, health systems data, improving information for decision-making, and data to support the Initiative to Eliminate Race Disparities in Health.

In order to bring these plans together in a coordinated fashion, address current and emerging data needs in an overall strategic framework, and assist and support the Council in its continuing work in the development of a broad data strategy, the Council has established a standing Committee on Data Strategy that replaces and expands upon the Survey Integration Working Group.

Data Strategy Committee Membership:

Administration on Children and Families

Naomi Goldstein
Neil Nair
K.A. Jaganathan
Mary Bruce Webb

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Steve Cohen*
Irene Fraser
DEB Potter

Administration on Aging

Frank Burns
Saadia Greenberg

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation

John Drabek
Don Oellerich
James Mathews
James Scanlon*

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget

Lester Cash
Bob Polson

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Atlanta

Claire Broome
John Loonsk

CDC: National Center for Health Statistics, CDC

Ed Hunter*

Food and Drug Administration

Randy Levin

Health Care Financing Administration

Dan Waldo
Spike Duzor

Health Resources and Services Administration

Mike Millman

Indian Health Service

Edna Paisano

National Institutes of Health

Richard Suzman
Lisa Colpe
Virginia Cain

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration

Charlene Lewis
Ron Manderscheid

Office for Civil Rights

Steve Melov
Kathleen O'Brien

Office of Public Health and Science

Emmeline Ochiai

 


* Cochairpersons


Charter:
Committee on Data Strategy

Background and Purpose

Sound and timely data and information are essential to the HHS mission of enhancing the health and well being of the population. Whether assessing progress toward national health and human service objectives, providing for effective health and human services or fostering sustained advances in medicine and public health, reliable and readily available information is essential. These data yield the information and intelligence required for policy development, program development and administration, resource allocation decisions, evaluation and research.

In addition, Presidential and Secretarial Initiatives, increased reliance on information-based decision-making and growing emphasis on performance measurement are placing unprecedented demands on HHS data systems and resources. Continuing improvements in access, quality and outcomes of health and human services also depend on the availability of data that can be used by government, consumers and private sector decision-makers.

HHS plays an essential role in creating health and human services data and information for decision-making and action, by developing and promoting strong data collection, analysis and dissemination systems, by collaborating as a partner with other health and human services entities in pursuing common data interests, and by serving as a national leader in health and human services data policy.

To guide and support these activities, the Secretary has directed the HHS Data Council to develop a department-wide data strategy including both data collection and analysis activities, and encompassing both health and human services data. The HHS Survey Integration Plan represented the initial stage of this effort. To assist and support its continuing work in the development of a broader data strategy, the Council is establishing a standing Committee on Data Strategy that will replace the current Survey Integration Working Group.

Goals of an HHS Strategy

An HHS data strategy is needed that will address the following goals:

1. Assure that HHS obtains the data it needs, when it is needed, including subgoals designed to:

  1. close critical data gaps
  2. reconcile results across multiple complementary sources
  3. cease collecting useless or obsolete data

2. Improve access and analytic capacity, including subgoals designed to:

  1. facilitate enhanced scope and technical sophistication
  2. produce consistent, timely, accessible, accurate data and results

3. Meet data needs as effectively and efficiently as possible, including subgoals designed to:

  1. optimize tradeoffs between comprehensiveness and efficiency
  2. reduce public respondent burden.

Functions

In order to support the HHS Data Council in addressing its Secretarial mandate in the area of HHS data strategy, the Committee on Data Strategy will undertake and make recommendations to the Council regarding the following activities:

1. Identify, describe and assess current and emerging HHS data needs, with special attention to data on the following priorities:

  1. Health and socio-economic status and well being of the population - including the major demographic and racial and ethnic subgroups, as well as State and local level data.
  2. The health care delivery system and its organization - including financing, supply, distribution, access to services, transitions across settings; provider risk bearing, incentives and affiliations, and public health systems.
  3. Outcomes, effectiveness and quality of health and human services - including medical errors, best practices, evidence-based practice; technology assessment and cost effectiveness issues.

2. Assess current and planned HHS data collection resources in the light of current and emerging data needs.

3. Identify optimal approaches to HHS data strategy, taking into account opportunities for integration and reconciliation of existing data resources, including but not limited to:

  1. Linking data to enhance analytic capabilities
  2. Reconciling different estimates
  3. Creating user friendly access to HHS data resources, and
  4. Improving analytical tools, capacity and expertise.

4. Identify opportunities for achieving operational efficiencies in HHS data systems, including

  1. Optimizing tradeoffs between comprehensiveness and efficiency
  2. Reducing respondent burden
  3. Integrating sampling strategies
  4. Coordinating field operations
  5. Terminating the collection of useless or obsolete data
  6. Harmonizing federal/State standards

5. Based on the forgoing activities, develop a multi-year HHS strategic data plan for submission to the Council that reflects a broad coordinated approach to data planning, investment and decision-making in HHS.

The strategic data plan would:

  1. encompass broad goals and principles
  2. include a range of possible priority data and research activities
  3. integrate the work of content-driven working groups of the Council as well as other data content groups(1)
  4. build links between the data strategy, research coordination and budget process within HHS
  5. recommend data plans and investments on which there is agreement
  6. allow for systematic appraisal of data gaps and lead time to develop means to address them
  7. inform and maximize lead time for agencies on planning and budget development activities
  8. foster identification of opportunities for cross-agency initiatives
  9. facilitate consensus on priorities and directions
  10. enable assessment of trade-offs and re-prioritization
  11. inform external partners and increase opportunities for collaboration, and
  12. guide the development of new methods and tools.

Structure

The Committee on Data Strategy replaces and expands upon the former HHS Survey Integration Work Group. The Committee will be comprised of OPDIV and STAFFDIV representatives designated by their respective Council members. The Cochairpersons of the Data Council will designate the chairpersons of the Committee.

Scope

The Committee on Data Strategy will focus on all health and human services data collection, analysis and dissemination activities sponsored or supported by HHS. In carrying out its activities, the Committee will complement and coordinate with the other standing and ad hoc committees and working groups of the Council as well as related data initiatives

Duration

The Committee on Data Strategy is established as a standing committee of the HHS Data Council. Its duration is continuing, subject to the approval of the Cochairpersons of the Data Council.

Reporting Relationships

The Committee on Data Strategy will submit its draft reports, plans and recommendations to the HHS Data Council, which in turn reports to the Secretary. After review and deliberation, the Council will forward its final report(s) and recommendation(s) to the Secretary for decision. It is expected that the Secretary will select priority activities and optimal implementation approaches including organizational roles and responsibilities for accomplishing the objectives of the data strategy.


Current Activities:

Activities of the Data Strategy Committee are well underway. Working closely with the budget office, the Council and the Data Strategy Committee are developing a coordinated crosscutting analysis relating to proposed investments to improve data and information for decision-making in the FY 2002 budget planning process. The Committee also undertakes special projects and analyses at the request of the Council and HHS leadership. Work is also proceeding on recommendations for HHS data strategy.

Additional Links:

HHS Data Directory

Gateway to Federal Statistics

Organizations that develop health and human services statistics

 


1.  Current committees and work groups include the Health Data Standards Committee, the HHS Privacy Committee, the Joint Working Group on Telemedicine, and several special initiative and content-oriented work groups, including the Work Group on Race and Ethnic Data, the Provider Information Development Working Group, the Information for Decision-Making Initiative, and the Research Coordination Work Group.