Novel Project Will Create Open Access to Detailed Information About Health and Well-Being for Older Californians
June 14, 2022
Collaboration between the RAND Corporation and Archstone Foundation will yield a consolidated data dashboard to aid providers, policymakers, and philanthropists in making smarter decisions.
The most comprehensive understanding yet of the health and health care needs of older Californians and their caregivers should come into focus thanks to a five-year, nearly $1.3 million collaboration between Archstone Foundation and the RAND Corporation.
The two organizations will assemble and make publicly available a wide-ranging collection of data about the health and well-being of nearly six million Californians older than 65—the fastest-growing population in the nation's most populous state.
RAND's development of an evidence-based Data Monitoring Center will be followed by creation of an associated Impact Dashboard to display a range of statewide and localized data about health outcomes. These will assist Archstone Foundation in evaluating the impact of its new strategic priority: true integration of medical care and social support services—care coordination—to help improve the health of older Californians and their caregivers. The Foundation's strategy is focused on what it calls the Three Ts: fostering Teams, bolstering Technology, and improving Training, with an emphasis on reducing the health disparities that plague older Californians of color or with lower incomes.
Crucially, the dashboard will be available to all. As a result, the Foundation and other philanthropies, medical and aging service providers, and government leaders will be able to use the data to make smarter, evidence-based decisions about their own investments and policies—and to assess progress in the coming decade based on the best available metrics. Collecting both qualitative and quantitative data will enable users to draw inferences about how successful interventions could be replicated or scaled and to identify opportunities for improvement.
“The existing data and metrics are dispersed across multiple sources, agencies, and platforms—a fragmentation that both reflects and reinforces the siloed model of support for older Californians and their caregivers,” said Archstone Foundation President and CEO Christopher A. Langston, PhD. “Our Three Ts approach warrants a highly visible outlet for consolidated metrics, and the new dashboard will allow disparate stakeholders to take advantage of a single information clearinghouse, promoting collaboration and systems change at the individual, organizational, and population levels.”
The announcement came after the Archstone Foundation Board of Directors approved the $1.295 million grant to RAND to create and maintain the center and dashboard over the next five years.
“We are thrilled to work with Archstone Foundation in realizing this bold vision to bring data to the public and to inform decisionmaking and action, a mission we prioritize at RAND,” said Anita Chandra, DrPH, RAND's Vice President for Social and Economic Well-Being. “RAND will bring our distinct abilities in connecting and clarifying complex data systems to improve the health and well-being of older adults.”
The Data Monitoring Center and Impact Dashboard are expected to:
- Provide timely updates. The dashboard will track progress on all three aspects of the Three Ts (Teams, Training, and Technology), and with respect to matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The data will be able to signal to the Foundation, and others, where investments and partnerships seem to be having a beneficial impact—and when course corrections are warranted. The dashboard will also enable more timely dissemination of best practices and lessons learned to the philanthropic and policymaker communities.
- Empower older adults. Although we are in an era of data transparency and citizen science, data about teams, technology, and training relevant to the health and well-being of older Californians is difficult to access and understand—if it's tracked at all. Giving older people, caregivers, providers, advocates, and policymakers access to trusted, evidence-based information will improve decisions and policies at all levels. Adding a DEI lens to this data, where possible, will improve the relevance of this data to all Californians.
The monitoring center, composed of RAND researchers and collaborators, will obtain all the relevant existing data from public and private sources and also develop qualitative and quantitative research questions that would yield additional sets of valuable data. It will then design, develop, pilot, and launch the Impact Dashboard. RAND will employ a collaborative approach to the project. Beyond engaging the Archstone Foundation's staff, Board and grantees, the company will create a community stakeholder advisory group to provide feedback and guidance to ensure that the research conducted is as effective as possible and that the Impact Dashboard is a valuable and well-used resource. Archstone Foundation Senior Program Officer, Laura Rath said, “We are an independent, private foundation, but we are keenly aware that we are stewards of the resources entrusted to us by society, intended for the benefit of the public. We believe that transparency and accountability are essential to living up to that trust and this project will help us toward these important aims.”