Boy getting an injection.Our Community Profiles Dashboard is a powerful new tool public health professionals, city planners, non-profit organizations, medical providers and anyone interested in health data.  In Part I of the series we covered the Dashboards and the Primary Care Areas.  The second blog and video demo explored suicide data and how you can compare rural and metropolitan areas of the state to get a better understanding of the relationships between different communities.

This week we’re exploring flu and pneumonia.  Flu and pneumonia are responsible for thousands of deaths nationwide and in Arizona every year.  Getting vaccinated is a great prevention tool that can save lives.  As public health professionals, we want to target our resources and interventions in areas of the state where we see higher death rates.  To find these areas, we can use the most recent data in the Dashboards to look at the Primary Care Areas that have death rates that are higher than the state average.  We can also look at several years of data to look at trends.  This can be helpful in measuring the effectiveness of public health interventions.

The power of the Dashboards is in the layers you can add to the data.  In the video demo, we show how you can add a layer that shows where people can access health services.  In this case, we look at Federally Qualified Health Centers in the areas of the state where flu and pneumonia death rates are higher than the state rate.  While the data doesn’t give us a definitive answer as to why the rates are higher in specific areas of the state, we do know having access to health care and services can have an impact on the health of a community.  When you explore the Dashboards, you’ll see that you can add several layers, including hospitals, child care facilities, pharmacies and many more.