NYU researchers look to value of open data in healthcare

American researchers have partnered with England's National Health Service to produce a guide on how to better use government-held healthcare data to help both patients and healthcare researchers.

The goal of the 81-page report, “The Open Data Era in Health and Social Care,” by The Governance Lab at New York University is to serve as a “blueprint for the National Health Service to develop a research and learning program for the open data era.”

“The blueprint lays out a detailed plan to start a conversation about how to gather the evidence needed to understand and assess the shape and size of the impact of open health data,” report co-author Stefaan Verhulst said in a news release accompanying the free report. “It is important to pay a comparable level of attention to an analysis of open data's potential benefits, as well as potential risks.”

Verhulst is co-founder and chief research and development officer at the think tank, also known as GovLab.

One component of the design advocated by the authors of the report is to identify “a variety of methodologies that can be used to facilitate measurement and impact analysis” to determine whether open data leads to changes in various desired outcomes.

Those outcomes include the use of data to produce greater accountability within healthcare organizations, enable consumers to make better-informed choices when selecting providers, improve treatment outcomes, increase patient satisfaction and efficiency, and spur innovation and economic growth.

Follow Joseph Conn on Twitter: @MHJConn



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