This map shows the geographic location of all practicing dentists in the state of Florida by county and the dental ER visits per 1000 in primary care professional shortage areas.
For better oral health outcomes to be possible in Florida, a data-driven, evidence-based program is essential. The Oral Health Needs Index(OHNI) made strides to fix this problem by creating an easy too access, oral health focused, outline Geographic Information System (GIS) based tool that allows users to turn complex data sets into maps and other easy-to-use visualizations.
According to the CDC, most oral diseases are avoidable, with the timely administration of preventive care. Failure to address oral health with timely preventive care may result in costly visits to hospital emergency rooms, especially for children in low-income households. Identifying dental providers who accept Medicaid and other public dental insurance can be difficult. Transportation and finding participating providers are significant barriers for low-income and rural populations. With the use of these maps, we get clear visualization of health disparities experienced by under-served communities and it allows for a better understanding of ways to combat these disparities.
Is the future of healthcare shifting towards employing clinical analysis technology to administer value-based care? Analytic technology allows healthcare providers to understand their patient population better using social determinants of health. The analytic technology uses electronic health records to measure health trends amongst the targeted population.
Value-based care is collecting relevant data sources specific to socio-economic and social determinants of health unique to a specific population to plan appropriate interventions. These strategies have the potential to improve health outcomes specifically targeted areas at lower costs. Cost can be lower through a thorough analytical investigation of community needs trends and provider behaviors that increase cost. Carilion Clinic in Virginia is currently utilizing value-based care and analytical technology to serve its community better.
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With November election slowly approaching, one of the newest features currently being used to ease the process across the world is, GIS community mapping. Community mapping is using mapping technology to identify, understand, analyze and resolve community issues. Residents can use GIS mapping to type in their polling place and even give them directions to it.
Interactive community mapping systems can replace paper-based data to help store vital information more efficiently. GIS can provide details about specific parish/county population, transportation and highway systems, voting precincts, zoning and land use, parks and more. Locations of utilities, pipelines, flood zones and elevation can also be mapped.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recalled 90,000 pounds of ham. Johnston County Hams recalled five different ham products Tuesday. The contaminated meat product got distributed to Maryland, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina, and Virginia. These are the products:
Country Style Fully Cooked Boneless Deli Ham
Ole Fashioned Sugar Cured The Old Dominion Brand Hams Premium Fully Cooked Country Ham
Padow’s Hams & Deli, Inc. Fully Cooked Country Ham Boneless Glazed With Brown Sugar
Premium Fully Cooked Country Hamm Less Salt
Goodnight Brothers Country Ham Boneless Fully Cooked
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) led an epidemiological investigation of listeriosis after reports from the FSIS. Through the combined efforts of local state departments and the CDC, the outbreak link is between illness and Johnston Country Ham products. The recall stemmed from ham products possibly exposed to Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria is one of the most common foodborne illness-causing agents. This example continues the streak of the foodborne illness outbreaks in the U.S. My last blog touched more on this public health issue.
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For more information on the foodborne illness, outbreak checks my last post.
Amazon’s new Echo Spot Smart home technology introduces a variety of ways that technology can play a central role in maintaining meaningful interactions between seniors and their caregivers and/or families. The seniors of today possess considerably more technological knowledge, and more comfort with technology, than their predecessors. This helps improve the potential for elders to successfully age at home.
Smart homes appliances provide valuable support to elderly parents, with Skype and FaceTime being good solutions to maintaining healthy interactions across long distances. However, they require both participants in calls to effectively utilize an app. They simply cannot substitute for human interaction. Amazon’s new Echo Show has the potential to reduce challenges that comes with video calls and new-aged technology. A brilliant idea it may be, there are still issues related to small screen size and placement, but this can spark the candle for more innovative ways to care for the elderly.
One public health issue that needs more attention is foodborne disease outbreaks. Foodborne outbreaks account for approximately 9.2 million illnesses each year. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 800 foodborne disease outbreaks are reported annually, resulting in roughly 15,000 illnesses (18% of which resulted in hospitalization) and 20 deaths each year.
Figure 1: Displays the most common pathogens that cause food borne illness, outbreaks, hospitalization, and deaths from 2009-2015.
Foodborne outbreaks are the result of two or more cases of foodborne illness caused by a similar pathogen. When foodborne outbreaks occur, the cases are reported to both the local and state department. After gathering information from those departments, the CDC follows up with an investigation. It is always important to be aware of warnings for food outbreaks and food recall alerts. Be careful of what you eat. Remember to Wash your hands when preparing and handling foods.
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To be healthy, is to be in a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being not just merely the absence of disease according to The World Health Organization. Often times eye care is not what automatically comes to mind when thinking about overall health. However, how important is one’s vision? The answer is, vision and eye care are pivotal. Poor vision and lack of eye care can cause a number of problems that can decrease the quality of a person’s life and health.
An independent nonprofit organization, OneSight, travels to underserved and remove populations to provide better vision. During one of the organization’s trips they traveled the Amazon with a team to provide a digital eye clinic; providing an eye exam and glasses all in the same day. In the future the organization plans to add a surgical component for cataracts and other procedures. Still, there are over a billion people in the world that need glasses but have no access or funds to do so.