Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Data Visualization: Luxury or Necessity for Managing Population Health?

This is National Health IT Week. We're participating in the National Health IT Week Blog Carnival, offering our perspective on "The Value of Health IT" to improve healthcare delivery. Click here to see other National Health IT Week blog posts. Read contributions from Cincinnati-based health IT companies at Innov8 for Health.

Health IT is transforming healthcare delivery. Electronic medical records are in use in almost every hospital system and physician practice. Apps that help patients track glucose levels, medications, sleep cycles, and more are being introduced and improved daily. These are terrific innovations at the patient level. But how is Health IT being applied to population health?

One answer: data visualization.

Visualization tools--no matter the industry--make it easier to see relationships and identify patterns among data sets. In the field of population heath, where the twin goals of managing cost and providing quality healthcare often seem to be at odds, data visualization tools offer users a way of aggregating, displaying, and making sense of information, especially information that comes from disparate sources.

At one time, we used visuals to make our point, tell our story, and--let's be honest--keep our audience engaged and awake during presentations. We thought that was enough, and that anything "beyond the basics" was overkill--a waste of both time and money.

We can no longer afford to be so complacent. Today's visualization tools have evolved from pretty picture generators to genuine decision-making tools. Most data visualization tools can give you:
  • Real-time data analysis
  • Trend analysis
  • Dashboards that alert you to values that fall outside of established benchmarks
  • The ability to visualize multiple data sets from multiple sources
  • Interactivity
  • Access to data for non-data specialists
HealthLandscape specializes in online mapping tools, which give users the ability to see geographic variations among the populations they serve. This is especially critical in today's health care environment, where providers are increasingly held responsible not only for the health of their patients, but also for the health of their communities.

Health promotion efforts focus on reaching populations at-risk for chronic conditions such as diabetes, respiratory diseases, and heart conditions before these conditions manifest. Health management plans now incorporate community-based care as a way of decreasing costs and improving clinical outcomes.

Bottom line: It's impossible to manage the health of a community without knowing that community.

To learn more about HealthLandscape's data visualizations, attend one of our regularly scheduled webinars:

The Community Data Portal
In-depth demonstrations of our award-winning data dissemination tool
Thursday, September 19, 3:00 pm ET
Visualizing Data with HealthLandscape
Overview of all of our data visualization tools, including the Site Performance Explorer
Tuesday, September 24, 2:00 pm ET
Introduction to HealthLandscape
In-depth instruction on using HealthLandscape, our free online mapping tool and data library
Thursday, September 26, 2:00 pm

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

How Are You Measuring Health Promotion in Your Region?

How do you measure health promotion activities in your region? What performance indicators show that your health promotion efforts are producing results?

We're curious because one of our partner organizations, The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati,* has shifted its strategic direction away from access to care and toward health promotion. Now called Interact for Health, the organization's primary focus is on:
  • Healthy eating
  • Active living
  • Mental and emotional well-being
  • Healthy choices about substance use
Interact for Health has organized its new strategy around the National Prevention Council's National Prevention Strategy. In Appendix 2, the document lists categories of key indicators, including:
  • Goal indicators
  • Leading causes of death
  • Healthy and safe community environments
  • Clinical and community preventive services
  • Empowered people
  • Elimination of health disparities
  • Tobacco-free living
  • Preventing drug abuse and excessive alcohol use
  • Healthy eating
  • Active living
  • Injury and violence-free living
  • Reproductive and sexual health
  • Mental and emotional well-being
Many of the data sets that match the key indicators listed in the National Prevention Strategy are included in HealthLandscape's Community HealthView tool, which is easily accessible, free, and ready to use. To learn how to access data in Community HealthView, click the link below to sign up for an Introduction to HealthLandscape webinar.
How are you measuring health promotion? What's working for you?

*HealthLandscape, LLC is a partnership of Interact for Health and the American Academy of Family Physicians' Robert Graham Center.

Monday, September 9, 2013

You're Invited: Data! Fostering Health Innovation in Kentucky and Ohio

Data! Fostering Health Innovation in Kentucky and Ohio

Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 9:30 am to 4:00 pm ET

Northern Kentucky University METS Center


Mark your calendars for this free, day-long event!

HealthLandscape is proud to co-sponsor the upcoming Data! Fostering Health Innovation in Kentucky and Ohio conference. Join us for a day of fast-moving presentations that will showcase novel and effective uses of health data in the Kentucky–Ohio region.
Damon Davis
Director, Health Data Initiative
U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services
Dwayne Spradlin
CEO, Health Data Consortium

Keynote speakers Dwayne Spradlin and Damon Davis will give national and federal context for health innovation. Other presenters will address:
  • Contextual data for community benefit planning and local asset mapping
  • Built environment strategies to help make the healthy choice the easy choice
  • Novel approaches to chronic disease management and increased access to care
Lunch is provided, and will offer an opportunity for topical roundtable discussion.

Space is limited to the first 250 who register, so register today!

We look forward to seeing you on November 19!

Please note: The conference is co-sponsored by HealthLandscape, Interact for Health, and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. Registration is free, but we must assess a $75 cancellation charge for any guests who cancel after November 9.