The Chicago Forum for Justice in Health Policy presented “Reforming Illinois’ Public Health Data Systems” on March 4, 2016, at Loyola University’s Chicago School of Law Health and Medicine. Over 120 participants made up of public health professionals, state and local government staff, researchers, health advocates, insurers, and the general public came to hear a panel of six healthcare experts speak and field questions regarding healthcare data.
After the moderator presented a few opening remarks addressing why data is so vital for all of us in improving public health, she stressed the importance that Illinois agencies strive to learn to use data better. Each presenter described how important public health and medical data are for measuring progress in reducing health inequities and improving the nation’s health.
Trexin’s own Laura Zaremba, Senior Principal, discussed strategies for making progress on these health inequities. Laura described Trexin’s established role in helping our clients achieve their healthcare IT goals with large, complex strategy and implementation projects.
Laura described the Triple Aim vision for Health Transformation. While technology is the enabler, the goal is about getting to the top of the Triple Aim pyramid of better health, quality, and lower costs. This is a completely new approach to data.
There has been a positive change in the last 10 years, yet barriers remain. Illinois has work to do. As improvements happen, key trends in Illinois’ healthcare IT show a wide variation in data standards and how data is represented.
Laura concluded by speaking about the opportunities and challenges in maximizing health IT benefits for public health. She said there will always be opportunities, but the challenge is all in how you look at it. A positive conclusion to this ever-changing and dynamic world of public health data systems.
- Mary Driscoll, Moderator
- Nirav Shah, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health
- Nikhil Prachand, Director of Epidemiology, Chicago Department of Public Health
- Laura Zaremba, Senior Principal, Trexin Consulting
- Janine Hill, Executive Director, EverThrive Illinois
- Amy Terpstra, Director of Research, Social Impact Center at Heartland Alliance
This policy forum was one of a series offered on various topics by The Chicago Forum for Justice in Health Policy. The series addresses health reform efforts both in Illinois and the Chicago area, including discussions of best practices from around the country.