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Simon Hagens



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  • OS05 - Connecting Data in Meaningful Ways (ID 5)

    • Event: e-Health 2017 Virtual Meeting
    • Type: Oral Session
    • Track: Clinical and Executive
    • Presentations: 1
    • Coordinates: 6/05/2017, 04:00 PM - 05:30 PM, Room 203AB
    • OS05.04 - Answering Health Policy Questions with Open Innovation Data Challenges (ID 318)

      Simon Hagens, Canada Health Infoway; Toronto/CA

      • Abstract
      • Slides

      Purpose/Objectives: Investments in digital health have led to the generation of a vast amount of health data. Traditional approaches to knowledge generation through data and analytics can be resource-intensive and not always well-positioned to support decision-makers’ needs for timely, action-oriented evidence. This has triggered interest in innovative alternatives, such as open challenges or crowd-sourcing. This presentation will share a case study of an organization using open innovation challenges to answer health-related policy questions with existing data and analytics. The effectiveness of this approach, and potential for future use, will be discussed.

      Methodology/Approach: Canada Health Infoway conducted two Data Impact Challenges in 2015 and 2016. It invited authorized users of health data from across the country to answer 20 research questions related to the health system and patient care, such as rates of duplicate testing, screening, or inappropriate prescription use. The questions were sourced from a variety of supporting health care organizations, as well as an open call to Canadians. Teams had 64 and 76 days, respectively, to submit their answers to the two challenges. A total of $167,500 in awards was made available. Submissions were judged on timeliness and quality (data quality, representativeness, and innovation). The judging panel consisted of 51 experts selected with expertise in health policy, research, data and analytics. A mixed-methods approach was used to understand the effectiveness of the Data Impact Challenges. Quantitative data were collected in the course of the registration, submission, and judging processes, and analysed. Qualitative analysis of content from semi-structured key informant interviews with participants, non-participants, and judges was also conducted.

      Finding/Results: Thirty-three individuals or teams made 51 submissions to the challenge. Nineteen of 20 research questions were answered through the challenge using data from 8 of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories. Submissions came from researchers, clinicians, and analysts based in health care organizations, government, academia and the private sector. Qualitative findings suggest that participation was driven more by non-monetary factors than by the awards. Almost all, including non-participants, indicated that they would take part in similar challenges in the future. An analysis using administrative data from British Columbia earned the highest score for the first challenge and identified opportunities for more appropriate use of screening blood tests. In the second challenge, a research organization from Ontario earned the highest score and found that 55% of patients were re-dispensed the culprit medication after an adverse drug event.

      Conclusion/Implication/Recommendations: Open innovation challenges can generate timely information in a cost-effective way that responds to novel questions that support evidence-informed decision-making while also demonstrating the value and potential of existing health data sets. Characteristics of challenge design and implementation affect both participation and the quality of submissions received.

      140 Character Summary: Open innnovation challenges are an effective way to find solutions to important health care questions.

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