For several years, HHS leaders have recognized the value of sharing data among state and local agencies and departments to improve overall case management. “No single area of innovation promises as much public value as the rapidly evolving areas that allow government officials to utilize data across agency and IT silos,” says Stephen Goldsmith, former deputy mayor of New York and mayor of Indianapolis, now a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
The idea is that by integrating data from welfare, children and family services, health, mental health, housing services and the courts, HHS can create the elusive single system of record that provides a complete view of the individual or family. This will enable all agencies that contribute to and access the record to deliver faster, more efficient service to benefits recipients, reduce fraud and errors, and save taxpayer dollars. However, in spite of the value of data, the current IT model emphasizes investment in infrastructure and applications. For example, since data integration is frequently the last phase of an implementation, it often falls victim to budget and scheduling delays, such as the elimination of data interfaces and integration points.
Read more about how HHS agencies can use data to improve service delivery in this issue brief.