For one year, the PDI has served as a guidebook for policymakers interested in improving how public health data is collected and utilized to better address community health and prepare for the next pandemic or other crisis. What’s next for this work?
Measuring community resilience will be an important metric as the nation emerges from the pandemic and prepares for the next crisis. Johns Hopkins COPEWELL helps quantify resilience to better inform local leaders.
With fewer people seeking COVID-19 testing, the utility of test and case data is decreasing. Moving forward, we need to develop a clear plan for ongoing disease surveillance that will provide the necessary data for effective public health preparedness.
While all nations have struggled to combat the spread of COVID-19, those with universal healthcare systems held an advantage over the United States. Universal systems allow data to be standardized, centralized, and complete for every patient, which improves care and can better inform public health strategies.
A healthcare system’s moral duty is to learn from its patients to improve future care. Models developed from patient data are now used to inform care and reduce medical costs by preventing unnecessary procedures.
Policies protecting medical data privacy are well-established and sacrosanct to healthcare providers. But there are few, if any, policies surrounding the mining and selling of other personal data, which often contains health information. This must change.
The COVID-19 pandemic has helped economists and epidemiologists understand they need each other’s expertise to improve their models and the policy proposals they generate. Data from new technologies and disparate sources could result in more actionable policy recommendations that address the cross-divisional causes of issues such as health disparities.
Many countries have benefitted from access to others’ COVID-19 data to identify risks ahead of time and adequately prepare their systems. This cross-border collaboration cannot end once COVID-19 becomes endemic. We must remain vigilant and continue collecting and analyzing data together.
Telemedicine has been an incredible tool to increase access to healthcare in a safe, remote manner during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, data show it is still susceptible to the effects of health disparities. This must be addressed if telemedicine is to become a permanent fixture of our healthcare system.