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The Health and Human Services Department has made available an online tool that makes it easy for the public to monitor and measure how the nation’s healthcare system is performing.
The Health System Measurement Project enables policymakers, providers and the public to develop consistent data-driven charts and views of changes in important health system indicators.
The web-based application brings together datasets from across federal agencies that span topical areas, such as access to care, cost and affordability, prevention and health information technology. It presents these indicators by population characteristics, such as age, sex, income level, insurance coverage, and geography.
A user can look at data on a given topical area from multiple sources, compare trends across measures and compare national trends with those at the state and regional level.
For example, an individual could use the tool to examine the percentage of people who have a specific source of ongoing medical care or track avoidable hospitalizations for adults and children by region or ethnic group. Or explore the percentage of non-elderly individuals who have health insurance.
“Ensuring all Americans have access to these data is an important way to make our health care system more open and transparent,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a May 15 announcement.
[See also: ONC seeks comments on NwHIN road rules.]
The measures are drawn primarily from existing publicly available datasets. The tool contains information on how the measures were calculated and provides users with direct links back to the original data sources.
The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation developed and selected the measures in the Health System Measurement Project.