Last week I wrote about the Health Care/Public Health Continuum… in which I described how in the public health world the community is the patient. In order to assess and better help the patient we need to have indicators and surveillance data to help us construct and implement interventions. One of our primary goals over the last couple of years has been to shift the focus of our community based public health performance measures toward actual outcomes. In other words, we don’t want to measure our success on simple activities like whether we did an intervention, placed an ad, or whether someone’s paperwork is right- but on whether our interventions and services actually make a difference.
That’s where our data Dashboard resources come in. Last year we rolled out our Arizona Health Matters website- to help the public health system to access data and information about community health- and to measure community outcomes. It helps the public health system, planners, policy makers, and community members learn about issues and identify improvements. On the site you can compare Arizona’s health with other communities and the nation, using more than 100 health and quality of life indicators; search and compare data by County and zip code within Arizona; learn about evidence-based promising practices or use the Report Assistant to create quick reports and summaries.