Health and Fitness

Health dashboards are right here to remain and may effectively information public well being motion sooner or later

An editorial authored by Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health analysis scientists and revealed within the American Journal of Public Health requires investing in folks, processes and know-how so well being dashboards, so helpful and standard throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, can effectively and successfully information public well being motion sooner or later, monitoring issues akin to most cancers, HIV, site visitors accidents or the following rising public well being menace.

“For many years, people have desired to know more — contacting their local or state public health department to, for example, learn about current cancer rates in their county or inquire about disease rates in their state. But typically, public health departments have produced static annual reports based on two- or three-year-old data, which can’t answer these questions or provide guidance to those who must make decisions now,” mentioned editorial lead writer Brian Dixon, PhD, MPA, director of public well being informatics for Regenstrief Institute and Fairbanks School of Public Health. “There has been quite a bit of interest in modernizing public health reporting to keep the public and policy makers informed about what’s happening in their community. And that’s the need that COVID-19 dashboards, for example our Regenstrief Institute COVID-19 dashboard and many state dashboards, with their visualizations of timely data, often by location, age, race and sex, on such things as hospitalizations, emergency visits, ICU admits, hospital mortality, testing and vaccine uptake, have so clearly met.”

As the editorial famous, The COVID-19 pandemic let dashboards out of the bag, and there is no going back. Now that we understand their potential, we need to invest in public health such that local, state, and federal agencies are equipped to develop, deploy, and maintain dashboards for emerging health threats and many other critical activities they do to advance population health. This means investing not just in software tools for dashboards but also in the systems, processes, and people that support dashboarding activities. Only then can dashboards achieve their goal of visualizing information so that decision-makers can effectively guide public health action and the public can understand health trends and why they should support recommended actions.”

Software and computer systems might be bought however it’s going to take greater than software program and {hardware} to supply dashboards to tell those that must find out about illness and harm of their group, state or nation. Public well being departments have to maneuver away from human knowledge entry coupled with faxed paper-based processes to automated, well timed acquisition of correct and full units of digital knowledge. In addition to specialists in investigating patterns and causes of illness and harm, these usually poorly funded teams have to draw and retain people who perceive the information and may handle it to create the consistently updating maps, charts and infographics that all of us wish to see. Highly educated epidemiologists and knowledge scientists, usually known as informaticians, will probably be wanted to gather, retailer and analyze complicated knowledge and to plan and handle dashboards throughout illnesses and processes.”

Dr. Brian Dixon, PhD, MPA, director of public well being informatics for Regenstrief Institute and Fairbanks School of Public Health

Authors of “Dashboards Are Trendy, Visible Components of Data Management in Public Health: Sustaining Their Use After the Pandemic Requires a Broader View” along with Dr. Dixon are Shandy Dearth, MPH, and Thomas J. Duszynski, PhD, MPH, of the IU Fairbanks School of Public Health and Shaun J. Grannis, M.D., M.S., of the Regenstrief Institute and IU School of Medicine.


Journal reference:

Dixon, B.E., et al. (2022) Dashboards are fashionable, seen elements of information administration in public well being: Sustaining their use after the pandemic requires a broader view. American Journal of Public Health.

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