The Open Data Era in Health and Social Care – NHS England – May 2014
A blueprint for the National Health Service (NHS England) to develop a research and learning programme for the open data era in health and social care
Extract from the executive summary
“The United Kingdom has been a leader in the open data movement – a new movement by governments around the world to open up the vast repositories of data they hold across agencies and departments, and to collect new kinds of data for public use. Open data is publicly available data that can be universally and readily accessed, used, and redistributed free of charge. It is changing the way governments, nonprofits, and the private sector use data to understand public issues and solve problems in areas as diverse as financial regulation, energy, education, and more.
Open data holds particular potential in the health sector. By releasing health data to patients and, when appropriate, on an anonymized basis to researchers and the public, governments and healthcare organizations are betting on the power of greater openness of data to improve the quality of care, lower healthcare costs, and facilitate patient choice. The NHS has made and continues to make significant investments in opening data. Over the past several years, it has launched a series of initiatives that have already had a positive impact on patient education, healthcare choice, healthcare costs, and patient outcomes. Now the NHS is planning a broader, more ambitious programme that has the potential to serve as a worldwide model for the opening of data in healthcare. The purpose of this report is to help design this programme, establishing priorities and ways of measuring impact to guide this and future efforts at data transparency.
This report examines the current literature, drawing on case studies and published research to highlight the following value propositions for using more open data in healthcare:
- Accountability: The use of data to hold healthcare organizations and providers accountable for treatment outcomes.
- Choice: Providing open data to help patients make informed choices from among the healthcare options available to them.
- Efficiency: Improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of healthcare delivery.
- Outcomes: Improving treatment outcomes by using open data to make the results of different treatments, healthcare organizations, and providers’ work more transparent.
- Patient satisfaction and customer service: Using open data to educate patients and their families and make healthcare institutions more responsive.
- Economic growth and innovation: Using open data to fuel new healthcare companies and initiatives, and to spur innovation in the broader economy.”
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