How can states use insights to combat infant mortality? One state is using data to identify at-risk moms and babies and crafting targeted interventions to improve outcomes. What could your agency learn from its wealth of data?

Let me know what you think and learn more here.

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I’ve been in the business of health and human services applying data and analytics and technology for over 20 years.

Some of the most interesting examples I’m seeing are happening right now. One example is where a state is looking to combat their infant mortality rate, a big issue. We all want to save babies, right?

But what’s interesting is when you look at the state, they are very low across the U.S. and the U.S. as a country is not very well positioned. I believe of the 20 wealthiest countries in the world they are 17th and we shouldn’t be there, period.

So, what the state has done is really flipped everything on its head and said, “We’re going to start by understanding and getting the data that we need to combat this issue.”

But they are going to go even further, and this is what’s really exciting, so it’s one thing to sort of say, “Hey, let’s pull this data together and understand what are some of the health factors that are affecting these moms. What are some of the interventions that we have to apply to help these moms?”

What we’ve done is we have actually taken the data from the state, so we integrated 30 different data sets across public health, mental health, Medicaid, family services, and a bunch of federal data sets.

We have pulled that data together and we were able to identify moms that were at risk. We were able to identify what are called segmentation models.

And what segmentation models think about, you know moms are 23 to 27 that have these behavioral factors creating these groupings and then looking at the interventions associated to moms and determining how well those intervention programs are being applied. And if not working with the provider network, the visiting home providers to determine what would be the most effective interventions, what they call cocktail of interventions, all that is being driven by the data, so that’s one of the most exciting things.

None of this is being done in a vacuum. It’s not a bunch of data people in the corner working in a vacuum in a box. They are working collaboratively in a very multi-disciplinary approach to try to solve that problem and that’s absolutely critical.

The ability to work with infant mortality requires epidemiologists working with your data people, working with your policy people, working with your providers.

So, bringing that ecosystem together with one goal in mind is absolutely critical and that’s where the real work is, and if you can do that effectively you will have success.

Joseph Fiorentino

Managing Director – Applied Intelligence, Public Service, North America

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