How open government and government 2.0 can help health care reform

Regardless of your views, for or against, the health care reform act you must admit that its passage was historic. The long battle to reach this point could be, however, all for naught if not properly managed. The good news is the strategy and tools are available, will they be used?

First, to make sure we are all on the same page, let me quickly share my key definitions. I am certain that portions have been inadvertently stolen (er… borrowed) from others, I apologize to those people in advance.

– Government 2.0 is a strategy, supported by processes, tactics, and technology, that leverages collaborative and social media technologies to better engage with citizens.
– Open Government recognizes the importance of leveraging open data sets and open technologies to enable citizens to co-create value in the government 2.0 ecosystem.

Alright, now that we are at least somewhat on the same page, here are my top three ideas that should be implemented to make sure that healthcare reform is more than a single historic night, that it will be a successful undertaking for all citizens.

1.Clearly communicate the goals in terms of real numbers that the majority of people can understand. Goals like average cost per citizen, net change in cost by implementing the change, average life expectancy, etc…
2.Convert these goals into the following:
– A web site that has a very easy to read dashboard, updated in near real-time, showing where we stand against the goals. The goal target, and the current real numbers, must be clearly stated.
– Open data sets in XML format that third-party developers could use to create applications.
– Twitter and Facebook pages to announce daily updates.
– A dial-in phone bank where people who are not web-savvy can call in and learn how we are doing (using a recorded message).
3.Create an ideation platform, like the Federal Agency Dashboard, focused exclusively on giving citizens a place to share ideas, vote upon ideas, and give feedback to the government on needed changes.
– Provide people with an SMS and standard voice mail method to add to this ideation platform. There are countless citizens in low-bandwidth areas and/or with low web skills. Keep this open.

While there are clearly dozens of other ideas, these are my top three. What ideas do you have to share?

Note that there is a good conversation in the comments in the discussion group that I opened up on this topic:



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