To determine whether the services they provide are meeting population needs, local health departments (LHDs) use a variety of formal and informal assessments, including community health assessments and communitywide health-improvement plans. Despite these efforts, the services do not always meet the needs, for a variety of reasons, including competing funding priorities, political mandates, and natural shifts in population makeup and health concerns. Geographic information system (GIS) mapping software provides a promising tool to enhance priority-setting and resource allocation for LHDs by displaying complex geospatial information in an integrated and visual way, enabling staff to compare the geographic distribution of population health in a community (i.e., where services are needed) with the geographic distribution of LHD programs and expenditures (i.e., where services are provided). Using such an approach, LHDs can identify gaps between program services and community health needs. This report presents findings from interviews with 65 staff at four LHDs and three case studies to test potential solutions for how maps can be used to address the gaps between public health needs and LHD services. It describes options for accessing easy-to-use, no-cost GIS data and tools and suggests ways in which LHDs can integrate new GIS approaches into their activities.
The new healthcare law in the U.S. is slowly coming into play. So too is an expected doctor shortage. The Association of American Medical Colleges expects a 90,000 shortage by 2020. And of course it matters where the holes are.
A few maps released Friday, also by AAMC, probe the geography of our impending doctor shortage and what makes particular states more susceptible than others.
The Washington Post can't explain the disparities.
With signs of declining malaria deaths in Africa raising hopes of eradicating the disease worldwide, researchers unveiled today at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) a new malaria map that is the first to identify on a global scale where the long-lasting and potentially deadly form of malaria—a parasite known as Plasmodium vivax—has a firm foothold in large swaths of South Asia and parts of Latin America.