Analyzing County Health Patterns

.. as the population ages, migrates and otherwise changes, health status and healthcare needs change by location, type and in other ways. Data on health status, characteristics and trends continue to become more available, particularly at the county geographic level … but these data are often difficult to locate, integrate and use in a combined manner.

VA Hospitals/Facilities in Context of Urban/Rural Areas
The following graphic illustrates how Veterans Administration hospitals and facilities (red markers) can be viewed in context of urban/rural patterns. Urban areas are shown with orange fill pattern. The Appalachia 405 county area is shown with black bold boundary. Use (GIS) resources to examine additional patterns such as the distribution of veterans by census tract based on the American Community Survey (ACS) data.

— view created using CV XE GIS and associated county health GIS Project
— click graphic for larger view showing details.

County Health Analytics
This section provides an overview of accessing, integrating and analyzing demographic, economic and health data with a focus on county and sub-county geography. Geographic information system (GIS) tools are used to visually and geospatially analyze health-related patterns and characteristics. Applications reviewed here are developed using the CV XE GIS software and associated U.S. national scale health GIS Project. See more detail in the related Web section.

The County Health Patterns GIS project includes data from:
• ProximityOne CountyTrends and Situation & Outlook
… view individual county population & components of change trends
… click county link in this interactive table
• Robert Wood Johnson Foundation County Health Rankings
Appalachian Regional Commission economic status
• Other sources. See additional information

Additional ProximityOne ready-to-use shapefiles could be added containing all data from the American Community Survey demographic-economic profiles. The same scope of subject matter, annually updated, is available at the ZIP code, census tract, county and other geography. See related interactive tables (four related web sections) for subject matter details.

The CV XE GIS software is used with the County Health Patterns GIS project to develop views/applications shown below. These views/applications illustrate how the health analytics resources can be used. Select from wide ranging alternative measures.

Patterns of Population Change — %Change 2010-2014 — U.S. by County
The following view shows patterns of %population change 2010-2014 using the CountyTrends layer/dataset.

— view created using CV XE GIS and associated county health GIS Project
— click graphic for larger view showing details.

Site Analysis & Patterns of Population Change
— %Change 2010-2014 — Houston Metro Area
The following view shows patterns of %population change 2010-2014 using the CountyTrends layer/dataset. This view also illustrates use of the Site Analysis tool to aggregate and display population by year 2010 through 2014.

— click graphic for larger view showing details.

Patterns of Population Change
— %Change 2010-2014 — Missouri Area Counties
The following view shows patterns of %population change 2010-2014 using the CountyTrends layer/dataset. This view also illustrates use of the Metros layer to show outlines of Missouri metropolitan statistical areas (bold red/brown boundary). Counties are labeled with the 2014 population estimate.

— click graphic for larger view showing details.

Patterns of Percent Smokers — U.S. by County
The following view shows patterns of percent smokers by county using the County Health Rankings RMD layer/dataset. Choose from a list of wide-ranging health-related subject matter items.

— click graphic for larger view showing details.

Patterns of Food Insecurity — U.S. by County
The following view shows patterns of food insecurity by county using the County Health Rankings AMD layer/dataset. Choose from a list of wide-ranging health-related subject matter items.

— view created using CV XE GIS and associated county health GIS Project
— click graphic for larger view showing details.

Patterns of Food Insecurity — Appalachia Region
The following view shows a zoom-in of the above view.

— click graphic for larger view showing details.

Patterns of Economic Distress — Appalachia Region
The following view shows patterns of economic distress based on an index developed by the Appalachian Regional Commission. Economic characteristics of an area can have a direct impact on health and well-being and access to healthcare resources.

— click graphic for larger view showing details.

An upcoming section will review more detail about analyzing regional health and healthcare issues with drill-down to census tract and other sub-county geography.

Join us in a Data Analytics Web Session where we review and discuss use of tools and resources like those covered in this section.

About the Author
— Warren Glimpse is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for innovative data access and use operations. He is also the former associate director of the U.S. Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards for data access and use. He has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector developing data resources and tools for integration and analysis of geographic, demographic, economic and business data.

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