Governor Larry Hogan – Official website of the Governor of Maryland

Insights from the Data-Driven Overdose Risk Reduction Initiative demonstrate promise for using MD THINK to support data-driven decision making

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland—Governor Larry Hogan today announced the launch of the Center for Excellence in Health and Human Services Analytics and Application within Maryland’s Comprehensive Human Services Integrated Network (MD THINK) platform, the innovative data management system based in cloud of maryland.

The launch of the Center for Excellence in Health and Human Services Analytics and Applications is the latest development of MD THINK and fulfills the Governor’s promise to improve data analytics to enable state agencies to provide better services to residents of Maryland. The goal of the Center of Excellence is to use data from health and human services agencies to drive data-driven strategic decision-making to improve efficiency and outcomes across state governments.

“In 2017, when I announced the launch of MD THINK, I recognized the need for state agencies to have access to better technology and data to support their business decisions,” said Governor Hogan. “MD THINK is a national model for using a cloud-based data system to improve the delivery of health and human services, and the creation of the Center of Excellence will take MD THINK to the next level by enabling more robust and advanced data analysis to inform business operations.’

To demonstrate the potential of using MD THINK to aid analysis, the Data-Driven Overdose Risk Reduction Initiative (DORM) used the platform to complete its latest annual report, which provides profiles of overdose risk, based on linked public health and public safety datasets. Findings from this year’s report included data showing that nearly 69 percent of people who died of an overdose had interacted with a Maryland hospital in the six years preceding their death, and nearly 70 percent of people who died of an overdose were eligible for Medicaid within the year of their death.

Responding to the overdose crisis continues to be a priority for the Hogan-Rutherford administration, and DORM is a critical component of the state’s overall strategy to reduce overdose-related deaths.

“I’m pleased to see MD THINK supporting important health priorities like DORM,” said Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford. “Findings from last year’s report informed the development of the Targeted Overdose Prevention Act (STOP) of 2022, a bill sponsored by our administration. We are pleased to see expanded insights in this year’s report, which we hope will continue to drive policy decisions.”

MD THINK is the product of seven years of work by the Department of Human Services (DHS) and other state agencies to develop an innovative design and project plan to modernize the state’s human services technology infrastructure and customer service process. Today, DHS remains the operator of MD THINK, designated to develop, support and manage the MD THINK platform and portfolio business products, applications, data and services, and also remains the home of MD THINK’s Office of Strategic Initiatives.

The MD THINK Data Council was created by DHS to develop a framework for data collaboration and stewardship across all entities in the state that collect, own, or manage health and human services data.

“Supported by MD THINK’s master data management services and shared data warehouse, the Data Council set the stage for interagency collaboration and provided a framework for guidance on comprehensive data management,” said DHS Secretary Lourdes R. Padilla. “Additionally, MD THINK’s data analytics tools have provided powerful and insightful analysis of applicant data, which we have translated into dashboards and metrics that case managers use to manage their work.” The result is more streamlined services, increased engagement between government agencies and constituents and improved workforce allocation and efficiency, as well as improved service delivery thereby reducing fraud, waste and abuse, and better forecasting to help of the state to plan resources, budgets and time for the foreseeable future and beyond.

“Establishing the Center of Excellence is an integral part of the Maryland Department of Health’s (MDH) data modernization strategy and our goal to improve overall efficiency and outcomes,” said MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “I’m excited to see how we use MD THINK to support initiatives like DORM and the ability to replicate this framework as we modernize our state’s public health data infrastructure.”

Marianne Gibson, former Deputy Director of the Opioid Operations Command Center, will join MD THINK as Chief of Staff and Chief Business Strategy Officer to lead the Center of Excellence. The next focus of the Center of Excellence will be the development of a data use case focused on the intersection of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), bigenerational poverty, and overdose risk.

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