Health, Politics, Sci-Tech

Governor Hogan announces MD THINK Center of Excellence on Health and Human Services Analytics and Application

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ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan this week announced the launch of the Center of Excellence on Health and Human Services Analytics and Application within the Maryland Total Human-services Integrated Network (MD THINK) platform, Maryland’s innovative, cloud-based data management system.

The launch of the Center of Excellence on Health and Human Services Analytics and Application is the latest development for MD THINK and delivers on the governor’s promise to enhance data analytics to enable state agencies to deliver better service to Marylanders. The purpose of the Center of Excellence is to leverage data from health and human services agencies to drive strategic, data-driven decision-making to improve efficiency and outcomes across state governments.

“In 2017, when I announced the launch of MD THINK, I recognized the need for state agencies to have access to better technology and data to support their business decisions,” said Governor Hogan. “MD THINK is a national model for using a cloud-based data system to improve the delivery of health and human services, and the establishment of the Center of Excellence will take MD THINK to the next level by allowing more robust and sophisticated data analysis to inform business operations.”

To demonstrate the potential of using MD THINK to support analytics, the Data-Informed Overdose Risk Mitigation (DORM) initiative leveraged the platform to complete its latest annual report, which provides overdose risk profiles based on linked public health and public safety data sets. Findings from this year’s report include data showing nearly 69% of people who die from an overdose interacted with a Maryland hospital in the six years preceding their death, and nearly 70% of people who die from overdose are Medicaid-eligible within the year of their death.

Officials say responding to the overdose crisis continues to be a priority for the Hogan-Rutherford Administration and DORM is a critical component of the state’s overall strategy for reducing overdose-related mortality.

“I am pleased to see MD THINK supporting important health priorities, like DORM,” said Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford. “Findings from last year’s report informed the development of the Statewide Targeted Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act of 2022, a bill our administration sponsored. We are glad to see expanded insights in this year’s report that we hope will continue to drive policy decisions.”

MD THINK is the product of seven years of work by the Department of Human Services (DHS) and other state agencies to develop an innovative design and project plan to modernize the state’s human services technology infrastructure and customer service process. Today, DHS remains the Operator of MD THINK, designated to develop, maintain, and operate the MD THINK platform and business products, applications, data, and services in the portfolio, and also remains home to the MD THINK Strategic Initiatives Office.

A MD THINK Data Council was established by DHS to develop a framework for data collaboration and custodianship across all entities in the state that collect, own, or manage health and human services data.

“Backed by MD THINK’s Master Data Management and Shared Data Repository services, the Data Council has laid the foundation for cross-agency collaboration and provided a guidance framework for overall data management,” said DHS Secretary Lourdes R. Padilla. “Additionally, the MD THINK Data Analytics tools have provided powerful and insightful analysis of applicant data that we have translated into dashboards and metrics that case managers use to manage their work. The result is more streamlined services, increased engagement between state agencies and constituents, and improved workforce allocation and efficiencies, as well as improved service delivery which thereby reduces fraud, waste and abuse, and better forecasting to help the state plan resources, budgets, and time for the foreseeable future and beyond.”

“The establishment of the Center of Excellence is integral to the Maryland Department of Health’s (MDH) data modernization strategy and our objective to improve overall efficiency and outcomes,” said MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “I am pleased to see how we are leveraging MD THINK to support initiatives like DORM and the possibility of replicating this framework as we modernize our state’s public health data infrastructure.”

Marianne Gibson, former deputy director of the Opioid Operational Command Center, will be joining MD THINK as the Chief of Staff and Chief Business Strategy Officer to lead the Center of Excellence. The next focus of the Center of Excellence will be developing a data use-case focused on addressing the intersection of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), two-generational poverty and overdose risk.

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