Using Geographic Information Systems to Match Local Health Needs with Public Health Services and Programs

Published in: American Journal of Public Health, v. 101, no. 9, Sep. 2011, p. 1664-1665

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2011

by Tamara Dubowitz, Malcolm V. Williams, Elizabeth D. Steiner, Margaret Weden, Lisa Kraus, Dawn Jacobson, Nicole Lurie

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Local health departments (LHDs) play an important role in ensuring essential public health services. Geographic information system (GIS) technology offers a promising means for LHDs to identify geographic gaps between areas of need and the reach of public health services. We examined how large LHDs could better inform planning and investments by using GIS based methodologies to align community needs and health outcomes with public health programs. We present a framework to drive LHDs in identifying and addressing gaps or mismatches in services or health outcomes.

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