HIMSS24 preview: Using cross-sector collaboration to improve public health

HIMSS24 preview: Using cross-sector collaboration to improve public health



Following COVID-19, Accenture and a team of companies crafted solutions to help Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) ensure long-term preparedness to address future public health challenges.

Rachel Oldham, manager at Accenture, will discuss what the team has been working on to address DCHHS’s needs in a session at HIMSS Global Conference & Exhibition in Orlando next week entitled “Dallas County Public Health Disease Surveillance and Investigation System.”

Oldham shared highlights of the upcoming session with MobiHealthNews and what Oldham and her fellow panelists hope attendees will takeaway from the discussion. 

MobiHealthNews: Can you tell us about your HIMSS24 upcoming session and what you’ll discuss?

Rachel Oldham: We will be co-presenting with the director of Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS), Dr. Huang, on the disease modernization efforts that the combined team has been working on over the last 3.5 years. 

The first half of the conversation will be Dr. Huang covering the project’s background, best practices, and the solution overview at a high level. 

I’ll then take the audience through a platform demo highlighting some of the major features that Accenture built out based on DCHHS objectives. Some of those features we’ll be looking at include areas where we reduced manual efforts, talking through some of the integrations that have been set up, explaining data governance activities that take place and how we provide investigators a 360 degree view of patient information. 

We’ll finish up the conversation by covering the outcomes and improvements these efforts have had on DCHHS as well as public health impact. With any time remaining, we hope to answer questions and open the conversation up to opportunities for collaboration and ideas for improvement. 

MHN: What is unique about Dallas County’s Surveillance System? Does it help the public and private healthcare sectors?

Oldham: Dallas County’s Surveillance System is a remarkable solution built to handle over 2.6 million residents, larger than some states. 

With the leadership of Dr. Huang, Dallas County working with Accenture, has been able to do things that many other local jurisdictions and even states have not had the ability to do. 

The system is able to serve as a comprehensive system that integrates multiple public health and social services data together, breaking down different data silos. It forms a source of truth that investigators are able to leverage to focus on how they can better address the public health issue rather than spending the time on manual steps to ingest, organize, cleanse and report the information. 

The system currently supports public health, with the team looking into a variety of pilots to improve interoperability with healthcare provider services, such as adopting Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) based exchange and/or Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA) in the future.

MHN: What do you hope attendees learn from your session?

Oldham: Collaboration has been key for both the Accenture and DCHHS teams on this disease modernization project. The goal is to have a mutually beneficial presentation and conversation on these efforts, as it is something that the entire industry is facing.

As the presenters, we’re hoping to gain valuable insights from the attendees on things they’ve seen in their reporting and day-to-day processes that can help better our solution. 

From the attendees point of view, we hope our session sparks some ideas of how they can enhance their workflows, showcase different collaboration opportunities, and potentially gain solution ideas for the future.



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