‘Data drunks’ and ‘dataholics’ unite

June 7, 2013 in Medical Technology

The Fourth Annual Health Datapalooza stayed true to its name. It was, indeed, all about data — how to liberate data, the need to liberate data, structuring data, promising new data apps, and how data scientists just might have the sexiest career of the 21st century.

Big speeches were given. Big announcements were made. For one, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the release of cost data for 30 outpatient procedures, a move that officials say aims to increase transparency and eventually lead to lower costs. “We’ve gone from what Todd Park would refer to as ‘lazy data’, which just sat in a file room somewhere into active data that is now informing the marketplace,” Sebelius said.

[See also: Sebelius releases new HHS data.]

The electric and unapologetic Jonathan Bush, chief executive officer of athenahealth, offered his own perspective during a colorful keynote address to a packed audience.

In Bush’s keynote June 3, he shuffled onto the stage with slumped shoulders and a somber expression. He willed himself to glance up at the audience and confessed, “I am a dataholic.” Cheers and applause erupted throughout the crowd.

He thanked Sebelius for releasing the new data set, with a noticeable tinge of sarcasm in his voice. “Thank you, Secretary, for releasing 30 of 30 million things you need to release,” he joked.

Bush acknowledged the progress the administration has made in terms of data, but also highlighted — animatedly so — the deficits of the administration, the healthcare system and current policies.

[See also: Slideshow: Health Datapalooza IV]

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Article source: http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/data-drunks-and-dataholics-unite

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