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What’s behind a number? Information systems and the road to universal health coverage

July 6, 2015

Adam Aten ’13 (Health Economics and Policy)alumni is a researcher at The Brookings Institution focusing on evidence development and biomedical innovation within the Center for Health Policy. Prior to joining Brookings, he was a civil servant at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services developing policy expertise in health insurance for low-income populations, digital information systems and information governance, and cost effectiveness of public health programs.

This week he has written a post for the World Bank’s Investing in Health blog on universal health coverage (UHC). Here are some excerpts:

Decision-makers now have many tools at their disposal to analyze trends and take strategic decisions – increasingly in real-time – thanks to the rapid diffusion and adoption of information and communications technologies. New approaches to collect, manage and analyze data to improve health systems learning, such as how the poor are benefitting (or not) from health care services, are helping to ensure the right care is given to the right patient at the right time, every time – the goal of UHC.

It is relatively easy to agree on public health targets, but actual progress requires a management structure supported by dashboards that can allow monitoring of intermediate outcomes in real-time.

Read the full post on the World Bank’s health blog: What’s behind a number? Information systems and the road to universal health coverage

For those interested in current health policy topics, Mr. Aten is also a chapter co-author of the recently published WB/PAHO book, Toward Universal Health Coverage and Equity in Latin America and the Caribbean : Evidence from Selected Countries

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