There are many tools that can be used to find healthcare data, and this article will explore 5 of the most popular ones.
The first is Healthcare.gov, which provides a wealth of information on health care plans as well as government funding for those who don’t have coverage. The National Library of Medicine offers access to peer-reviewed medical journal articles. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collects data on diseases in the United States, including epidemics like Zika virus outbreaks. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) focuses on research related to improving quality in the delivery of healthcare services while reducing cost or morbidity rates from injury or illness. Finally, The Joint Commission conducts inspections at hospitals across America to make sure
Healthcare.gov is a government website that provides information about health care plans, as well as government funding for those who don’t have coverage. On the site, you can find out what kind of plan is best for you depending on your age, financial status, and other factors. You can also read up on information about employer-sponsored plans, Medicare benefits, and Medicaid eligibility.
There are also more than 30 datasets available for download. I’ll give you an example of how healthcare professionals can use the healthcare data on Healthcare.gov to analyze data. Healthcare professionals can use datasets on Healthcare.gov to analyze data is aggregating patient demographic, clinical, and outcome information to create exhibits that display the data in a visual format that would be useful for sharing with others. This is useful when conducting quality improvement initiatives or documenting potential reimbursement models.
2. The National Library of Medicine
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) provides access to peer-reviewed medical journal articles. Select the “Free full text” tab on the left side of the NLM homepage, and you will be taken to a list of searchable databases. You can use this site to find journal articles on specific illnesses or topics, such as HIV/AIDS.
The NLM offers a search engine for finding articles, a PubMed Visualizer to visualize trends and patterns found in research, and subject heading lists for specific terms. The NLM lists are often the most complete information about resources available for your topic.
The following 3 bullet points highlight different ways that the data on the website can be used:
- Healthcare data is available for all populations and demographics – not just the US population
- Data is provided for key national and international topics, including cost and quality of healthcare
- Patient-reported outcomes and provider-reported outcomes are among the types of information included
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
CDC’s data is considered to be among the best in the world, and their tools for accessing it are free. The CDC collects data on diseases in the United States, including epidemics like Zika virus outbreaks.
To get accurate information about disease outbreaks, you need to use official sources of health data. While the CDC may not have information about your local area available online, they do provide access to many national datasets. Where there is a high demand for information, the CDC provides access to datasets from a number of public and private sources.
There are a few options for using CDC data:
-Search CDC Data by Disease: Provides access to CDC’s national and international disease surveillance and tracking
-National Healthcare Disparities: Provides access to CDC’s statistics about health disparities in America.
-PHA Community Health Survey: Tracks progress of HIV/AIDS intervention efforts over time by collecting data at the community level.
4. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has a wealth of data available for exploration at their website. They have healthcare data on Medicare, Medicaid, ACA Marketplace, veterans, children’s hospitals, pediatric quality indicators, patient safety indicators, surveys, and risk adjustment. AHRQ provides data that is downloadable in Excel or CSV format.
One of the most valuable datasets available from AHRQ is their data on the Medicare program. While the data is not publicly accessible, it does provide a wealth of information for researchers and analysts. The data provides a way to explore how different interventions can reduce Medicare spend with comparatively few adverse effects.
Some examples of different interventions can reduce Medicare spend include:
- Utilizing preauthorization and precertification for surgery and using the best practice guidelines and other current medical evidence.
- Using predictive modeling to identify Medicare Advantage enrollees at risk for high spend who are likely to incur very high costs in the future.
- Making use of technology to reduce hospitalizations, say through remote monitoring or automated refills of medications.
- Utilizing retrospective claims data to identify care gaps in care delivery.
AHRQ has been working with private insurers, providers, and payers across the country to help them control healthcare cost. They have also partnered with other organizations in an effort to increase access to quality care and reduce disparities in healthcare quality.
5. The Joint Commission
The Joint Commission offers an interactive dashboard with metrics to monitor clinical performance for hospital systems. The dashboard allows you to monitor the progress being made by individual hospitals within the hospital system over time. You can compare against national benchmarks to understand how your hospital compares across different metrics nationally.
Some examples of healthcare providers are currently using The Joint Commission datasets can improve national benchmarks include:
- Measuring and monitoring clinical performance at the individual hospital level
- Comparing hospitals to national benchmarks for various metrics
- Understanding how different interventions can reduce Medicare spend with comparatively few adverse effects
In summary, there are many tools available to find healthcare data. Healthcare.gov is a government website that provides information about health care plans as well as government funding for those without coverage. The National Library of Medicine offers access to peer-reviewed medical journal articles and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collects data on diseases in the United States, including epidemics like Zika virus outbreaks. AHRQ has a wealth of data available at their site which includes Medicare benefits, Medicaid eligibility, ACA Marketplace, veterans’ hospitals; surveys; risk adjustment; children’s hospitals; pediatric quality indicators; patient safety indicators and more! Lastly The Joint Commission offers an interactive dashboard with metrics to monitor clinical performance for hospital systems where you can compare against national benchmarks.