This week I attended the 50th Annual IT Solutions Management for Human Services (ISM) show, which is the largest Health and Human Services (HHS) technology event of the year. Here, I had the opportunity to chat with some interesting people within the HHS space to understand their organizations' current data management practices. I was also able to listen to some informative sessions that explored ways to improve the HHS space using new, innovative technologies. I have personally spent the past couple years working in and learning about the HHS market, so I wanted to sit down and reflect on the most pressing topics in our world.
One of the main themes I recognized throughout the conference was that within the HHS industry, there is a project shift toward more modular and agile approaches to data management. This new approach provides several benefits. First, an agency is not stuck embarking on a multi-year project with a fixed cost and set deadline (that is often missed). Secondly, it means that agencies now have a more agile business strategy as they are able to pivot when new needs or challenges arise. Finally, and I think most importantly, it means that 20 years from now, public sector technology will be a different breed than what it is today. Most agencies are currently in the process of migrating from a 20+ year old system that is costly to maintain and proves to be an inconvenient and difficult experience for its users. Overall, the industry shift to invest in new technology and new techniques for design and project management leaves me with a positive outlook on what is to come for the HHS industry. This new focus will allow for flexibility and tweaks to systems which can make a significant impact on the organization, without needing a complete system replacement.
One major tweak that a HHS agency can make is around data quality rules and processes. This is another subject that we heard quite a bit about this year at ISM. In fact, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has built in data quality to the Comprehensive Child Welfare Information System (CCWIS) for child welfare agencies. Their reason for doing so is that improved data quality will help every state to serve their children in the best possible way. Data can help drive decision making, but these decisions need to be based on data you trust. As we look towards the horizon for the HHS sector, it seems likely that we will see other data quality rules that become a requirement like this one.
Overall, the 50th Annual ISM Conference provided valuable insight into current and future trends within the industry. I look forward to continuing these conversations surrounding data quality and data management, and am excited for the future opportunity that these industry changes promise for HHS organizations.
Mastering CCWIS compliance is now a business need within the HHS sector. We’ve got you covered with four data driven steps.