New Jersey Health Data Project Addresses State’s Urgent Health Needs

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A new population health data project was introduced to researchers across New Jersey.

The Rutgers Center for State Health Policy launched New Jersey’s Integrated Population Health Data (iPHD) project this week to address some of the state’s most pressing health issues, including the opioid epidemic. , maternal and child health, and New Jersey’s response to COVID-19 and other public health emergencies.

Researchers and policy experts from across the state gathered Wednesday for a virtual research consortium that marked the launch of the project. The event showcased how iPHD aims to inform public health policymaking in New Jersey by using administrative data in research to promote a more comprehensive understanding of the factors that influence population health and health. effectiveness of government programs.

“One of iPHD’s primary goals is to create a community of researchers in New Jersey dedicated to answering questions about the most pressing health needs of New Jersey residents,” said Joel Cantor, Distinguished Professor, Director of the Center for State Health Policy and ex-officio member of the iPHD Board of Directors. “And the consortium is an important first step in engaging this community and helping it grow.”

Researchers participating in the project can request access to New Jersey birth data, mortality data, hospital billing records data, and COVID-19 surveillance data to study health issues affecting the population. ‘State.

iPHD’s work is guided by 4 research priorities, informed by input from a diverse group of policy makers and research actors, and approved by the iPHD Board of Trustees. Addressing these research priorities will require the collaboration of researchers from institutions across the state, and these priorities represent the most pressing health and health care issues in New Jersey.

The iPHD will support research that explores ways to reduce New Jersey’s opioid epidemic, improve maternal and child health, ensure access to physical and behavioral health services, and address the social determinants of health. Priorities also include supporting New Jersey’s response to COVID-19 and other public health emergencies.

In 2016, New Jersey enacted legislation creating the iPHD Project. The research consortium is the result of six years of implementation planning and collaboration between partners in academia and state agencies, led by the NJ Department of Health, to move this effort forward.

The iPHD establishes a process for integrating health and other data from publicly funded programs for population health research to study health issues that affect communities in their together. Linking multiple public program data sources can help identify demographic trends and other social determinants of health and well-being.

Data can have more impact and value when tied to different health or social service programs than when they stand in isolation from each other, Cantor said.

Judith Persichilli, Commissioner of the Ministry of Health, gave a keynote address to the Consortium in which she explained how data modeling was of crucial importance in informing policy decisions during the pandemic, especially in this regarding hospital capacity. “iPHD’s work to focus on priority population health issues will help identify insights and insights into public health initiatives that will ultimately help improve outcomes,” he said. she stated.

The Virtual Research Consortium also featured presentations from Rachel Hammond, Board Chair and Data Privacy Officer for the New Jersey Department of Health; Margaret Koller, Executive Director of the Center, and Cantor.

“We worked with the Center to assemble a diverse portfolio of data sources to enable researchers to address research priorities,” Hammond explained. “We are launching with key public health datasets, and the Council will work with other New Jersey state agencies to add additional data sources over time.”

Besides launching the iPHD project, the consortium also marked the start of the first series of data applications. Researchers interested in accessing this data should submit a letter of intent to the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy by June 15, 2022. Pilot funding is also available for up to four researcher-led projects from institutions across the New Jersey. Please see the iPHD website for more information on how to apply.

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