A collaborative effort between physicians, researchers, and government representatives is establishing a new set of guidelines to assist organizations in sharing health information responsibly and effectively.

healthy community members riding bikes

Problem

Access to the wealth of information currently circulating among medical providers, local governments, and health-tracking apps could transform how we promote wellness in our communities. But data from these different sources aren’t designed to work together. 

What’s more, privacy concerns and policy restrictions often prevent agencies from sharing their information. To create a Culture of Health supported by the best available data, we must bring together key stakeholders to establish a shared set of processes and priorities.

Methods

SDAL collaborated with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to develop a series of workshops where physicians, researchers, consumers, and government representatives outlined their vision for a data-driven culture of health. 

These “Learning What Works” events were hosted in five cities across the country and online. Building on what they heard from stakeholders during these "listening sessions," RWJF's committee created a comprehensive report outlining how communities are already using data to improve health and identifying major opportunities to implement these practices on a national scale.

Impact

The final report produced from these RWJF workshops—Data for Health, Learning What Works—provides a set of concrete recommendations that will guide organizations in their efforts to share health information responsibly and effectively. 

The report's proposals include launching a public outreach campaign to educate consumers on the value of data exchange, modernizing policies that protect the privacy of health information, and developing new methods to use social media as one of our major sources of health data.

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