204009 Applying analytic mapping to community health center strategic planning

Monday, November 9, 2009: 10:57 AM

Amy K. McIntyre, MD, MPH , 80 Hemlock Avenue, Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Cranston, RI
Andrew Bazemore, MD, MPH , Robert Graham Center, Washington, DC
Charles T. Jones, MBA, PMP , Thundermist Health Center, Woonsocket, RI
BACKGROUND: Geographic information systems (GIS) offer a novel tool to optimize the work of community health centers (CHCs). With an orientation towards community and population health, CHCs can benefit from the application of mapping technology to strategic planning, advocacy, and outreach activities. Thundermist Health Center of Rhode Island is applying an internet-based mapping tool to answer questions of patient footprinting and frequent emergency room usage. The data will help inform strategic decisions about CHC operations.

METHODS: Thundermist Health Center utilizes the Health Center Mapping Tool of HealthLandscape.com for its inquiries. The first case involves patient footprints of the newest location for Thundermist. Due to high capacity and a need for additional services, administrators seek a map of patient addresses to determine the need for a new central location or satellite clinics. The second case explores the possible correlation between emergency room overuse and patient residence. Insights could inform the modification of operations to augment patients' use of the primary care clinic for non-emergent issues.

RESULTS: This is a work in progress. The poster will explain the insights gained from the maps and the potential applications to the strategic plan of the CHC.

CONCLUSION: GIS technology offers a unique tool for CHCs to map various types of clinical data to answer questions and inform decisions in order to better address the needs of their patients. The implications to the overall health care system can be far-reaching, with the potential for expanded access, quality improvement, and reduced health care costs.

Learning Objectives:
1) Explain the applications of an internet-based mapping tool to the strategic planning efforts of a community health center. 2) Assess the usefulness of an internet-based mapping tool for clinical operations and planning. 3) Evaluate the capability of an internet-based mapping tool to answer clinical questions, such as patterns of emergency room usage.

Keywords: Geographic Information Systems, Community Health Centers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I've presented at APHA multiple times.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.