Aggregate health, or health-related open data

(this page is part of my Open Data, Open Society report. Please follow that link to reach the introduction and Table of Content, but don’t forget to check the notes to readers!)

Health related PSI goes from hospital performances to hygiene ratings for food businesses to incidence of some diseases in each area of a country.

Citizens have already asked, for example, to publish online the numbers of disability claimants, grouped by age ranges, disability types and area, or statistics about Clinical Negligence cases sorted by hospital, death cause and costs, together with the numbers of diagnostic tests performed by hospital laboratories. Meanwhile, at Scores On The Doors people can find the official local authority hygiene ratings for UK food businesses, that is how hygienic and well-managed the food preparation at any of the listed take-aways, clubs, pubs and restaurants are.

Of course, many of these data can be published only in aggregate form, to avoid privacy issues, but they can still be very helpful, on the transparency and prevention fronts, when presented in the right way. Health-related statistics may even help professionals, by making easier, cheaper and less risky for doctors to find what is the best area where to practice. Full disclosure and sharing as Open Data of all this information could also make much easier to pass new policies or expenses for national or local healthcare management. Still, all the comments about disclosure of security and legal data explained in the following paragraph apply.