HHS Protect – A common operating picture for COVID-19

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Graphic showing interface for HHS Protect dashboard

Figure 1: HHS Protect Dashboard

HHS Protect is a secure decision-making and operations platform for the whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since its launch in April 2020, HHS Protect, developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has served as the common operating picture and central hub to collect, integrate, and share COVID-19 data in near-real time across federal agencies and with state, local, territorial, and tribal partners. HHS Protect streamlines and secures operations and brings together COVID-19 data for sharing among critical response partners. HHS Protect allows for key decision-making at every step of the COVID-19 pandemic response. On February 18, 2022, management and operational ownership of the HHS Protect system transitioned to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).

HHS Protect At a Glance

HHS Protect uses data from more than 300 sources. Data housed and analyzed in HHS Protect are related to:
  • Cases
  • Testing
  • Hospitalizations
  • Mortality
  • Mobility
  • Schools
  • Therapeutics
  • Medical supply chains
  • Demographics
  • Local policy decisions
  • Social determinants of health
  • Healthcare system capacity
HHS Protect is accessible to 3,900+ unique users across 30+ federal agencies, 56 states and territories, and the private sector. Key partners include:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • HHS Administration for Strategic Preparedness & Response (ASPR)
  • Federal Emergency Management
  • Administration (FEMA)
  • Department of Defense (DOD)
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • State, local, territorial, and tribal partners
HHS Protect enables increased public awareness of disease impact and spread by:

HHS Protect Impact

Provides Nationwide Situational Awareness and Enables Key Decision-Making
Example of dashboard showing geolocation-based data visualization
  • Provides a central source of data for the COVID-19 response and is used to inform operations and decision- making across the government.
  • Provides speed and efficiency needed to translate public health data into actionable information.
  • Creates interactive, geolocation-based
    that integrate cases, deaths, testing, hospitalizations, and other metrics related to COVID-19.
  • Tracks COVID-19 trends from national to county levels; often used to inform key decisions, such as school closures.
  • Compares vaccination status, case and death burden, requests for resources, medical personnel deployment, and other key data across regions.
  • Uses shared hospitalization data to inform resource allocation and medical supply chain decisions.
Enables Whole-of-Government Collaboration in a Secure, Quality-Controlled Environment
  • Leverages an interagency governance structure for resource and user management.
  • Fosters data-driven discussions and collaboration between states and federal counterparts around topics that include hospital capacity, data quality issues and corrections, compliance issues, and general state needs.
  • Documents all interactions within the platform, allowing follow-up and transparency of user access.
  • Identifies data quality issues by using automated checks and alerts for incoming data, as well as supporting manual reviews and corrections.
  • Secures data through detailed, government-defined access controls.