Trilogy—Changing the Way We Look at Community Health Data

January 23, 2013
Steven Randazzo, HealthData.gov

Like many people in Washington, DC, I am not actually from the DC but am from El Paso, Texas.  Often, when I tell people that I am from El Paso they get a puzzled look on their face because they are trying to place it on a map (a hint, it’s the only major city in Texas on Mountain Standard Time).  Texas, being the second largest state in the nation has a lot of diversity in its 254 counties.  A person in El Paso have more in common with people from Mexico and New Mexico than a person in Fort Worth, Texas.   Being the size of a small country, you can imagine that there is a ton of health data being produced, ranging from HIV incidence rates, cancer prevalence, to access to health care.  With that diversity comes differences and difficulties in measuring and managing health care.  Using data produced at the local, state and national level, Trilogy Integrated Resources, in partnership with the National Association of Counties (NACo) and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) developed the Network of Care for Public Health Assessment and Wellness. 

The Network of Care for Public Health Assessment and Wellness allows anyone to measure and track health indicators (currently 170 in the system).  For example, Tarrant County Texas, home of 1.8 million Texans, with the largest city in the county being Fort Worth, Texas is measuring 49 health indicators.  From there, as a user, I can compare percentage of adults with diabetes, with other counties in Texas; other indicators allow for cross comparison at either the county, state or national level. 

In addition to tracking and comparing indicators, the application also pairs data with more information, including ways to improve the health of your community. To do this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended strategies for intervention and NACCHO’s model practice information along with other articles and blogs are linked to each individual indicator, giving the user a complete picture of the conversation around a specific indicator. 

Going to back to my example on diabetes, being from El Paso I know that people from El Paso County have a higher prevalence of diabetes than others in Texas, but I want to know how much more of a difference there is. By using the Network of Care for Public Health Assessment and Wellness I can see the difference (2%) and also provide visualizations of the data.  The Network of Care for Public Health Assessment and Wellness is not only enhancing the data produced by making it more useful to users, but also exposing it to new audience who may not know where to get the root data.

More information on the Network of Care for Public Health Assessment and Wellness can be found at here.  More information on Trilogy can be found at http://www.trilogyir.com/