Government agencies from California to Washington, D.C., are taking on ambitious IT initiatives in an effort to provide better services at lower costs. Here are some federal, state, and local efforts that are leading the way.
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The Department of Health and Human Services' Health.Data.gov site is a compelling example of what's possible when government data is used to feed applications and drive community engagement. Launched in February as an offshoot of Data.gov, Uncle Sam's repository of open government data, Health.Data.gov is home to a range of resources: health data, APIs, applications, forums, software development competitions, and more. For example, a dashboard for Medicare prescription drug benefits, in beta release, provides statistical views of prescription drug cost and payment data collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. One goal is to spur development of other websites and apps that help in improving the health of the American public. That alone makes this an initiative worth watching.