Recently the Department of Health and Human Services made available a trove of community health data as part of its Community Health Data Initiative. The data which can be freely downloaded includes information on county health status and rankings as well as quality scores for Medicare/Medicaid approved hospitals and nursing homes.
Today Bing and Google both jumped on the opportunity to create some interesting mashups overlaying the data on their maps.
We believe this is a good thing for two reasons. First, it’s another step towards empowering patients by getting more, objective, third-party data about health care services and facilities out in the open. Second, it’s wonderful that the data is being made available to companies so that the data will see the light of day. Companies (like us) can take it and turn it into something more easily searched and digested by everyday consumers.
We recently incorporated third-party data on the board certification and malpractice records of nearly 900,000 doctors and dentists as part of the Insider Pages Doctor Finder. It made for a much better user experience when picking a doctor because it’s critical to have that kind of third-party data to complement and validate user reviews. I wouldn’t expect the average 50-year-old son trying to find a nursing home for a parent to find (let alone wade through) all the great quality score data on the Medicare website, but I could see them reading it carefully if we pulled it into the nursing home profile pages on Insider Pages.
Posted by Eric, Insider Pages GM