RDA's Organization

Office of Data Analysis (ODA) supports analyses of client counts, caseloads, expenditures and use rates within and between DSHS services and programs. The section typically draws data from automated databases across the agency and produces cross-program analysis. Typical tasks include:

  • Designing and building a monthly database of unduplicated DSHS clients, their services and the direct costs associated with providing those services (the Client Services Data Base), and using that database to compile standard reports and answer one-time questions about the services used by DSHS clients.
  • Maintaining a database of historical DSHS performance measures, budget drivers, and diversity monitoring (called the Historical Indicators of Performance System-HIPS). This database is used to report performance and budget targets to top agency managers, the governor and legislators.
  • Conducting surveys of DSHS clients, employees and providers to gather data for the agency's performance measurement, quality improvement and strategic planning processes
  • Maintaining the Client Registry, a daily database showing which DSHS offices are working with our clients. DSHS Staff across the agency use the Client Registry to coordinate services for shared clients. Maintaining the Expedited Medical Determination Website, used by City and County Jails and the Department of Corrections to research medical benefits for inmates pending release. Designing and building the Pathways to Employment Internet site to assist people with disabilities make informed decisions about entering or returning to the workforce.
  • Developing and using geographical information system (GIS) capability, which facilitates geographic analyses and maps for such areas as counties, cities, service catchment areas and school districts.
  • Developing and submitting required quarterly federal reports on the TANF program, as well as other required state and federal reports on economic and medical assistance.
  • Designing and building analytic research databases for selected DSHS programs.

The Program Research and Evaluation Section (PRES) develops, initiates and oversees research and evaluation activities designed to meet the needs of agency decision-makers. Analytic work is conducted primarily with administrative data, including health and social services records. PRES projects often cluster around the following topics:

  1. assessing service or prevention need, comparing need with usage, and analyzing service gaps and overlaps;
  2. analyzing program impacts, including the cost savings to public agencies that occur after a client receives services; and
  3. characterizing the clients served by particular program services or service combinations.

Information on current PRES projects »

The Washington State Institutional Review Board  (WSIRB) is a designated institutional review board (IRB) for a number of different Washington state agencies, including the Washington State Departments of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF), Health (DOH), Corrections (DOC), Social and Health Services (DSHS), Health Care Authority (HCA), Labor & Industries (L&I), and the Office of Financial Management (OFM). The WSIRB also serves as a designated IRB for other local & state agencies and research institutions. As an IRB serving the above entities, the WSIRB is responsible for providing the requisite regulatory review, approval and oversight of research that may involve these state agencies’ clients, beneficiaries, patients, wards and state agency employees or these individuals’ state agency personal records, in order to ensure the protection of the rights and welfare of human subjects of research.

WSIRB members are drawn from among the agencies served as well as other institutions and entities. Our members provide the WSIRB with a breadth and depth of diverse but highly relevant scientific, disciplinary and professional background, perspective, expertise and experience. The appropriate discharge of its review and oversight responsibilities and the WSIRB’s diversity and expertise is required in accordance with both federal and state laws, and under the Federalwide Assurance (FWA) legal agreements that each of these agencies and institutions have entered into with the Office for Human Research Protections of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a condition of applying for and receiving federal support of their research. HRRS in the Department of Social and Health Services provides the regulatory required administrative, professional and technical support for the WSIRB, including serving as members of the WSIRB. Support for the WSIRB and HRRS is provided by other state agencies, which includes designating and appointing agency staff to serve as WSIRB members.