Online Program

Using an online geospatial decision-support tool to improve community health

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 5:30 p.m. - 5:50 p.m.

Jennifer Rankin, PhD, Robert Graham Center, American Academy of Family Physicians, Washington, DC
Carolyn Fahey, BS, Robert Graham Center, American Academy of Family Physicians, Washington, DC
Andrew Bazemore, MD, MPH, Robert Graham Center, American Academy of Family Physicians, Washington, DC
The U.S. federally-funded Health Center Program has provided affordable, comprehensive, community-oriented health care since 1965. Recent expansion of the program, driven by investments from the Affordable Care Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, created incentive for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to fund a geospatial decision-support tool driven by health center data in the Uniform Data System (UDS). The UDS Mapper launched in July 2010 as an interactive, user-friendly online tool intended to aid planners and policymakers in effective exploration of spatially-referenced community health and socioeconomic population data. To date, the UDS Mapper has had 60,555 site visits by more than 6,000 unique users located in every state and territory. Significant engagement at the community health level is evidenced by 49% of all users reporting affiliation with health centers, with at least one registered user from more than half of the 1,128 Health Center Program grantee organizations. Policymakers and planners include HRSA project officers and other federal employees (6.5%), state and regional governments (6.0%), and primary care associations and offices (8.5%). This innovative use of geoinformatics improves community health planning by enabling stakeholders at all levels to assess need and access to primary care for safety-net populations, analyze geographic variation in the distribution and utilization of health centers, and evaluate and plan service delivery. Concepts and lessons learned from this project can be applied to other primary health care systems with georeferenced data within the US or other countries.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Communication and informatics
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the uses of the UDS Mapper for program development and policy making Explain the data limitations of the UDS Mapper Compare areas for potential expansion of the federally-funded health center program

Keyword(s): Geographic Information Systems, Access to Health Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My primary job is working on and presenting the UDS Mapper. I have a degree in International Health and have experience with multiple online geographic information systems tools.
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.