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Publication Detail
The Value of Data: Applying a Public Value Model to the English National Health Service
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Wilson J, Herron D, Nachev P, McNally N, Williams B, Rees G
  • Publisher:
    JMIR Publications Inc.
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
  • Journal:
    Journal of Medical Internet Research
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Status:
    Published online
  • Language:
Research and innovation in biomedicine and health care increasingly depend on electronic data. The emergence of data-driven technologies and associated digital transformations has focused attention on the value of such data. Despite the broad consensus of the value of health data, there is less consensus on the basis for that value; thus, the nature and extent of health data value remain unclear. Much of the existing literature presupposes that the value of data is to be understood primarily in financial terms, and assumes that a single financial value can be assigned. We here argue that the value of a dataset is instead relational; that is, the value depends on who wants to use it and for what purposes. Moreover, data are valued for both nonfinancial and financial reasons. Thus, it may be more accurate to discuss the values (plural) of a dataset rather than the singular value. This plurality of values opens up an important set of questions about how health data should be valued for the purposes of public policy. We argue that public value models provide a useful approach in this regard. According to public value theory, public value is created, or captured, to the extent that public sector institutions further their democratically established goals, and their impact on improving the lives of citizens. This article outlines how adopting such an approach might be operationalized within existing health care systems such as the English National Health Service, with particular focus on actionable conclusions.
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