Healthcare Analytics Put Data Out Front
The Indiana Partnership for Healthy Communities recently published a review of its Community Health Assessment reports, emphasizing the importance of geoinformatics – data-driven analysis of unmet needs among populations in specified areas – in improving outcomes.
In a discussion with Data-Informed.com, Sharon Kandris and Karen Comer described the analytical metrics – Social Assets and Vulnerabilities Indicators – being employed to identify areas of interest in community healthcare outcomes.
The metrics have enabled “a large repository of community data about socio-economic conditions of neighborhoods and builds the capacity of organizations to use the data to be more strategic and effective as they plan, implement, and monitor programs and services,” Kandris said.
The review found that shortcomings in analytical data used by hospital represent opportunity for significant improvements, Comer added: “Preliminary findings included that the majority of hospitals are using only county-level data for both their CHA and their health-improvement plans. This suggests the opportunity to empower the CHA and health improvement planning processes with more local data. Also, most did not inventory community resources with geographic service specificity, but rather just included a list of organization or facility names, without address, contact information, or information about the programs and services offered.”
An additional metric, Kandris said, is derived from the aggregation of confidential federal, state and local government sources that generate meaningful indicators about local communities, around socio-economic conditions, health, housing, and public safety.
Comer added that the geographic breakdown of the analytics has generated insights into how hospital responses vary across Indiana, in terms of cooperation with local health departments.