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BHS Information Portal Wishlist

Last updated on May 15, 2023

There are so many ways data could help behavioral health systems be more effective and nimble, as well as empowering innovators in civic technology and those in any behavioral health service provider network.

Share your feedback and ideas. All boats rise with the tide.

The following is a wishlist of a variety of inter-connected portals which, when created in an open-source environment, while relying on open-data whenever possible, could be used by any stakeholder to innovate and improve the effectiveness and reach of our Behavioral Health Systems. Here’s an outline:

  1. Procurement Portal – a tool for people to authentically (e.g. with little limitation) search and locate any RFI, RFP, Notice, Contract, Amendment etc.. Queries should deliver results in machine readable data format with key elements displayed, which can be filtered, with dates, amounts, deliverables, etc. User should have ability to select any point in time and review legacy contracts and documents with links to current contracts and documents for exact or similar goods and services. All procurement agreements should have clear distinctions insofar as unique content vs. boilerplate transactional information such as County terms and conditions. Example (Ukrainian version)

  2. Outcomes Portal – Need a system to document and share outcomes measures so that anyone, be they existing providers, advocates, BHS staff, or any other stakeholder so that could put the data to work. We absolutely need a normalized data-standard so all CA (and ultimately USA) BHS systems could adopt and allow us to truly compare apples to apples. . Open-source OpenLattice platform example. (Sadly, OpenLattice has closed shop. Check GitHub for their opensource repo.)

  3. Open Budget Portal – interactive tool allowing users to drill down directly to the past and existing contracts, amendments, notices, or other documents. Existing San Diego County Open Budget tool.

  4. Resources Portal – community program, provider, and resource information central. Open-source standard OpenReferral | demo deployment. Current San Diego model.

  5. Library Portal – all documents, forms, manuals, webinars, training, collateral, materials, templates etc. – the whole communications resource. Existing BHS Technical Resource Library.

  6. Engagement Portal – a dynamic interactive tool connecting all the various entities, people, facilities, and resources – including other portal elements like budget, procurement, timelines etc. – so that one could navigate through to discover already-established inter- and external-synergies. Proprietary example.

  7. Storyteller Portal an open-source online toolkit (e.g. R-based) allowing anyone to create maps, graphs, charts, timelines or otherwise tell stories with data. Example (Tableau style)

  8. Behavioral Health U Portal a place where anyone parents, educators, employers, consumers, family members, can come and learn anything related to behavioral health issues. Videos, podcasts, reading materials etc. Storytelling community example.

  9. Open Data Portal – all available de-identified data, perhaps tiered to allow various entities deeper access – e.g. researchers, as well as public data e.g. demographics, hospital utilization tool, CHKS etc. I love this model reporting data on crisis SMS service: which is the data portal for and gives accredited researchers full access. Open-source platforms CKAN | Fully deployed CKAN example.

  10. Calendar – complete calendar of all dates, times, and links to related resources for all BHS related events and engagement opportunities.

  11. Timelines – interactive web pages with dates, milestones, links to pertinent library documents and key people and resources. Proprietary example. Open-source example TimelineJS.

Additional Resources

To learn more about the concepts and technologies here are some other great resources:

Open-Gov Data @ GovLab

Civic Tech Engagement @ and local Brigade.

User Engagement @ Civic Technologists Practice Guide by Cyd Harrell | “…help technologists find the right way to do the most good, starting with finding the people already doing the work…”

Reading List

Building and Using Open-Source Tools for Government | Download | NewAmerica

Weapons of Math Destruction – by Kathy O’Neill | “…calls on (data) modelers to take more responsibility for their algorithms and on policy makers to regulate their use.”

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