The data sharing system will expand to Roanoke Valley to help the Commonwealth fight the opioid crisis.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has announced the expansion of Virginia’s Framework for Addiction Analysis and Community Transformation (FAACT), a data sharing platform that aims to generate insights about factors contributing to the opioid crisis.
The platform will extend to Roanoke Valley and continue to operate in the Northern Shenandoah Valley.
“As a Commonwealth, we must be strategic and proactive in helping individuals struggling with addiction and addressing the opioid crisis in our communities,” said Governor Northam.
“As a physician, I know that we cannot defeat this epidemic in isolation. With the expansion of this platform, we will enable more of our government agencies and local organizations to share important data and improve their ability to work together to translate that information into real solutions that can save lives.”
Launched in 2017, FAACT began as a collaboration between the Virginia Departments of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) to develop and implement a platform to share data across government agencies and local organizations.
“Everyone has long been in agreement that we cannot arrest our way out of the opioid crisis,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian J. Moran. “These collaborative efforts provide valuable insight that supports a targeted, evidence-based response to the epidemic, which claims the lives of over 1,000 Virginians each year.”
The platform was initially funded by a federal Technology Innovation for Public Safety (TIPS) grant from the US Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance. During the two-year contract, DCJS joined with Qlarion Inc. to develop and deploy a pilot project in the Northern Shenandoah Valley. Since December 2018, the platform has successfully provided stakeholders with opioid-use data in the region.
“Qlarion is working hand-in-hand with the Commonwealth and community leaders to understand the gaps in their data,” said Jake Bittner, CEO of Qlarion, Inc. “Through this process we can help to integrate data sets, the analysis of which provides users with previously unavailable information.”
The platform combines disparate datasets from government agencies, law enforcement agencies, and local healthcare, social service, public safety, and community coalition organizations. With these datasets, stakeholders can generate insights about the contributing factors to opioid use and the most effective ways for communities to respond.
“We’re already seeing the benefits that come from combining data sets to focus our efforts,” said Carlos Rivero, Chief Data Officer for the Commonwealth of Virginia. “With Qlarion and other technology partners, we are well on our way to creating a data-sharing and analytics platform for the entire Commonwealth.”
FAACT allows users at the state and local level to utilize empirical data that will proactively address the opioid crisis. A self-service analytics lawyer enables participating organizations to develop reports and dashboards, look at incident maps, and collaborate with each other more effectively.
“Access to the FAACT system will allow our region to share information and coordinate our response,” said Nancy Hans, Co-Chair of the Roanoke Valley Collective Response and Executive Director of the Prevention Council of Roanoke. “This will enhance our abilities and understanding of what is happening in our community, and enable us to better address the issues we’re seeing.”
The secure data sharing system has proven effective for many areas of Virginia.
“We launched the platform in the Winchester region nine months ago,” said Lauren Cummings, Executive Director of the Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Council. “Based on the collective analysis of the platform, we have gained incredible insight, like when our area has experienced a spike in overdoses, and in turn we have been able to deploy resources and make key adjustments to prevent further harm.”
Based on the success of the initiative in the Northern Shenandoah Valley, the platform will extend to Roanoke Valley, where opioid-related deaths quadrupled between 2016 and 2017.
“The data provided by this platform will help us get to evidence-based solutions faster, with greater assurance that services are tailored to our community culture and needs,” said Kimberly Horn, Co-Chair of the Roanoke Valley Collective Response and professor and scientist at the Virginia Tech-Carilion Fralin Biomedical Research Institute.
With more organizations joining the platform, the availability of data will increase, leading to new insights and discoveries.
“As additional regions of the Commonwealth join the platform, we’ll have a more holistic view about both opioid addiction and effective treatment plans across the state,” said DCJS Director Shannon Dion. “This information will not only enable us to disperse funding more effectively, but also direct our technical assistance to the areas that need it the most.”
Policymakers in Virginia expect to make strides in reducing opioid misuse throughout the state by expanding the FAACT platform.
“By expanding our efforts into additional areas of the Commonwealth and continuing to broaden our knowledge about causal factors, we can help more Virginians access critical and potentially life-saving treatment,” said Acting DBHDS Commissioner Mira Signer.
Date: September 04, 2019
Source: Health IT Analytics