Health GIS Tidbits - 6/27/11
WellPoint's affiliated health plans have launched an emergency room program and education campaign incorporating Google Maps to make it easier to find and use retail health clinics and urgent care centers for non-emergency conditions when regular physicians are not available.
CEHI's Community Assessment Project [Durham, NC] aims to measure the role of such factors on human health, particularly that of women and children. Researchers will layer the data gleaned from the May-September field collection with current information on tax values, crime, demographics and locations of health care providers, schools and day care centers.
This summer's collection will cover 30,000 tax parcels and look "for everything from foundation damage, to dead animals, to security signs. He said the scale of the study, involving such a great chunk of the city, makes it stand out from others he's reviewed."
The Community Assessment Project is tied to a birth outcome study called Healthy Pregnancy, Healthy Baby in which pregnant women are assessed during doctor's appointments for health and quality of life. The health of their babies is assessed after they're born, and information about their neighborhoods figures into the overall analysis.
Why might readmissions to the hospital in one Denver Zip Code be so high? Mapping the data on health care and the nature of the community might help reveal the answer.
One northwest Denver ZIP code in the readmission pilot stood out with high rates of elderly residents returning to the hospital. Overlaying census data for the neighborhood shows an area in transition, with new Latino families moving in and white homeowners aging in place.
[Jane] Brock [medical officer of the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care] said further research could explore whether aging homeowners have few connections to their new neighbors and don't seek help with rides to the drugstore, grocery store or doctor.
Pilot studies are combing tabular and spatial data to help address this challenge: The sickest 1 percent of patients spend nearly 30 percent of a health system's money.
A study that geocoded malaria cases in Brazil and used LANDSAT data (in a way I don't quite follow) confirmed:
Environmental factors and their alteration are associated with the occurrence and spatial distribution of malaria cases in rural settlements.
- 7th Space describing work in the Malaria Journal