Thursday, June 3, 2010

US Government Goes Open Source with Health Data

Community Health Data Initiative Interim Work Page

The Community Health Data Initiative is a collaborative effort among government and non-government partners to establish a network of suppliers and demanders of community health data, indicators, and interventions. Its purpose is to help Americans understand health and health care system performance in their communities, thereby sparking and facilitating action to improve performance and value.
The HHS Health Indicators Warehouse that is currently under development will serve as the data hub for the initiative. We consider health indicators to be measurable characteristics that describe the health of a population (such as life expectancy, mortality, disease incidence or prevalence, or other health states); determinants of health (such as health behaviors, health risk factors, physical environments, and socioeconomic environments); and health care access, cost, quality, and use. Depending on the measure, a health indicator may be defined for a specific population, place, political jurisdiction, or geographic area. NCHS is working with data, content, and application experts to develop this interactive system that will represent a major infusion of free, easily accessible HHS data. While the warehouse is under development, we are making several resources available.
Below you will find links to downloadable data sets which form the basis for the content anticipated to be available through the Indicator Warehouse and which will further the success of the Community Health Data Initiative. A draft set of indicators [PDF - 122 KB] that may be included is available for review and comment.
Please send all questions and suggestions to

Downloadable Data Sets

Community Health Status Indicators (CHSI) - A web-based tool providing local public health agencies access to county health status profiles for improving community health by identifying resources and setting priorities. Visit the CHSI home page to read about the data sources, definitions, and notes, and then explore the CHSI dataset file [ZIP - 5 MB].
County Health Rankings - An interactive website providing access to 50 state reports with rankings of each county within each state according to its health outcomes and health determinants. The County Health Rankings are a key component of the Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health (MATCH) project. MATCH is a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Read about the project and then examine the MATCH State Data file [XLS - 3 MB] [ZIP - 3.4 MB].
DATA2010 - An interactive database system containing the most recent monitoring data for the Healthy People 2010 objectives. Statistical tables [ZIP - 17 MB] from eighteen focus areas with state level data are now available.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services - Provides a wealth of downloadable data, such as Hospital Quality Compare and Nursing Home Compare, for health policy researchers, the media, and others interested in Medicare (Medicare's database download resource page).
USDA Economic Research Service - Provides the US Food Environment Atlas, a spatial overview of a community’s ability to access healthy food and its success in doing so. The Atlas assembles statistics on three broad categories of food environment factors: Food Choices; Health and Well-Being; and Community Characteristics.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality - Produces the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports measuring the trends in effectiveness of care, patient safety, timeliness of care, patient centeredness, and efficiency of care. Static tables are available in addition to an interactive tool for generating customized tables. A data table containing all measures by all states is also available.
The State of the USA - An organization assembling high-quality measures and data that will increase the understanding and progress of the US across many areas, including health. SUSA is currently developing a set of health indicators that will be available in the near future.

Select Indicator Reports and Initiatives

America’s Children: Key national indicators of well-being, 2009
A compendium of indicators illustrating both the promises and the difficulties confronting our Nation’s young people.
Chronic Disease Indicators
A set of 90 cross-cutting, important, uniform, and available indicators developed by consensus and drawn from many data sources.
Health, United States, 2009
A chartbook and 150 detailed tables providing an annual picture of the health of the entire United States.
Healthy People
Healthy People 2010 contains 467 objectives in 28 focus areas designed to serve as a framework for improving the health of all people in the United States. Healthy People 2020 is currently under development.
Older Americans 2008
A report of the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics, providing data on 38 key indicators that portray aspects of the lives of older Americans and their families.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

British Petroleum June 1st Gulf Update (Press Release)

date on Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill - 01 June

Release date: 01 June 2010
BP today provided an update on developments in the response to the MC252 oil well incident in the Gulf of Mexico. This follows an announcement on May 29 to move to the next step in the subsea operations.

Subsea Source Control and Containment

Preparations are ongoing for deployment of the lower marine riser package (LMRP) cap containment system. Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are engaged in preliminary operations, including preparing for operations to cut through and separate the damaged riser from the LMRP at the top of the Deepwater Horizon’s failed blow-out preventer (BOP).

Deployment of the system will involve connecting the containment cap to a riser from the Discoverer Enterprise drillship and then placing it over the LMRP, with the intention of capturing most of the oil and gas flowing from the well and transporting it to the drillship on the surface.

All of these operations, including the cutting of the riser, are complex, involve risks and uncertainties, and have to be carried out by ROVs at 5,000 feet under water. Systems such as the LMRP containment cap have never before been deployed at these depths and conditions, and their efficiency and ability to contain the oil and gas cannot be assured. It is currently anticipated that attachment of the LMRP cap will be attempted later this week; however, operational delays could impact anticipated timeframes.
Preparations to use the Discoverer Enterprise to deploy the LMRP cap and the intended severing of the damaged riser mean that the riser insertion tube tool, previously deployed, will not be reinserted into the main leak at the end of the riser.

Work on the first relief well, which started on May 2, continues and it has currently reached a depth of 12,090 feet. Work on the second relief well, which started on May 16, had reached a depth of 8,576 feet before drilling was temporarily suspended on May 26. Drilling operations on the second relief well resumed on May 30. Both wells are still estimated to take around three months to complete from commencement of drilling.

Surface Spill Response and Containment

Work continues to collect and disperse oil that has reached the surface of the sea, to protect the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico, and to collect and clean up any oil that has reached shore.

Over 1,600 vessels are now involved in the response effort, including skimmers, tugs, barges and recovery vessels. Operations to skim oil from the surface of the water have now recovered, in total, some 321,000 barrels (13.5 million gallons) of oily liquid.

The total length of containment boom deployed as part of efforts to prevent oil reaching the coast is now over 1.9 million feet, and an additional 1.8 million feet of sorbent boom has also been deployed.

So far approximately 30,000 claims have been submitted and more than 15,000 payments already have been made, totalling some $40 million. BP has received more than 110,000 calls into its help lines to date.

Additional information

The cost of the response to date amounts to about $990 million, including the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to the Gulf states, claims paid and federal costs. It is too early to quantify other potential costs and liabilities associated with the incident.
BP Press Office London: +44 20 7496 4076
BP Press office, US: +1 281 366 0265
Unified Command Joint Information Center:+1 985-902-5231