Mapping Emergency Room Dental Visits

Screenshot 2018-10-23 at 5.04.45 PMThis 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.[2] 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.

 

http://oralhealthindex.org/

https://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/assets/2012/01/16/a-costly-dental-destination.pdf

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Will the Future of Healthcare Shift Towards Value-based Care?

Social-Determinants

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.

For more information check out this article:

https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/analytics-social-determinants-drives-millions-value-based-savings-carilion

Image:

https://www.alliancebhc.org/general-news-announcements/alliance-grants-target-social-determinants-health/

GIS Mapping could help voters on Election Day

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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.

https://tnmap.tn.gov/voterlookup/

http://www.immappler.com/srtsnashville/

http://nashvillepublicradio.org/post/mapper-who-plotted-gas-shortages-and-nycs-best-bathrooms-now-helps-nashville-kids-walk-school#stream/0

https://www.americanpress.com/news/local/gis-mapping-project-in-works-for-jeff-davis-parish/article_e03edaf2-c275-11e8-8ba3-23249e23c8e4.html

 

 

Fighting the Opioid Crisis

 

opioids link

The opioid problem has become a national crisis over the past several years. Statistics show 115 people die daily due to opioid overdose. The Justice Department nationally awarded 320 million dollars to assist in making a profound impact on the opioid crisis.

Nebraska was given 1.3 million dollars to promote prevention, treatment, and enforcement. The money will be used to strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs through improvement of prescriber enrollment and actually utilizing the program. The money will also take a look at problematic prescribing and geographic areas that raise the most concern.

 

Sources:

1. https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis

2. https://journalstar.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/nebraska-to-get-   m-from-justice-department-to-fight-opioid/article_f613fff2-77b2-51ca-ae9a-e834cd09d5b5.html

 

Digital health for the elderly

Screenshot 2018-10-02 at 2.37.00 PM

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.

 

https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/25/16933440/amazon-echo-spot-ad-family-sales

https://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/heres-the-newest-technologies-for-seniors-and-their-homes

https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/amazons-first-ad-for-the-echo-spot-is-about-togetherness-not-shopping/

Food Borne Illness Outbreaks a Public Health Problem?

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.

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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.

For more information click the following link:
http://www.aappublications.org/news/2018/10/02/mmwr100218
Reference:
Dewey-Mattia D, et al. MMWR Surveill Summ. 2018;67(No. SS-10):1–11, http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.ss6710a1.

Vision Care

 

vision.jpg

 

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.

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.who.int/about/mission/en/
  2. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2018/09/partner-content-see-what-lack-of-vision-care-looks-like/