Review of the ESRI Health GIS Conference

health conference

(Picture take from ESRI website (http://www.esri.com)

The theme at this year’s ESRI Health GIS Conference was “Improving Our Health with GIS”.  The conference was held in Nashville, Tennesse September 21-23. Many of the speakers  focused on healthcare services’ deficiencies and – ways to reduce and/or eliminate these can be reduced or eliminated by providing the best information possible, on demand, to those who need to know.

He focused on the realization that availability of healthcare services in an area does not always translate into more cost effective services for citizens or better health. In fact, healthcare costs were potentially higher where more services were available. He found that per-capita Medicare spending, for example, had higher spending associated with discretionary services, suggesting that the lower spending regions are more efficient.

Some of the main points brought up during the lectures may be surprising. Dr. David Goodman, a professor at Dartmouth Medical School and the co-principal investigator of the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, pointed out that the higher the number and availability of healthcare service centers does not mean they are less expensive or more cost efficient.  It actually is the opposite in most cases. “In fact, healthcare costs were potentially higher where more services were available. He found that per-capita Medicare spending, for example, had higher spending associated with discretionary services, suggesting that the lower spending regions are more efficient,” (Francica, Conference Review: ESRI Health GIS Conference).  The next main point was brought up by Kim Pemble’s presentation on Health Information Exchange (HIE). Being executive director, he believes the role of HIE lies in intergrating communities with electronic access to patient records and locations of health centers.  This all makes for a more effective and more efficient doctor’s visit.  A final point was discussed by commissioner of the Alabama Department of Children’s Affairs Chris McInnish. He believes that GIS mapping will allow for accurate demographic desprictions within any area, which ultimately will allow a proper assessment of need. This will also promote a greater amount of efficiency.  There in already an online device that may be helpful to  politicymakers, elected officials, etc.

esri_logo_large

Source: Joe Francica, Editor-in-Chief &Vice Publisher, Directions Magazine

October 2,2009

http://www.directionsmag.com/article.php?article_id=3287

(Picture take from ESRI website (http://www.esri.com)

Christine Irven, VERTICES intern

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