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Open Data & Planning for a Sustainable Health System - How geography and mapping can help

2013 PHC Research Conference: Workshop abstract

Target audience
Primary health care researchers and planners with an interest in how location based quantitative data can assist them.
Aims & rationale/Objectives
With increasing rates of chronic disease and an ageing population, the health sector has a need to rapidly evolve its use of data and information to better support informed, evidence based planning and decision-making.

The workshop will demonstrate the use of geo-spatial tools to explore publicly available primary care datasets, and how these tools can be used to transform data into information.
Open Data initiatives are expediting ever increasing availability of data relevant to promoting better understanding of factors influencing primary health care. Yet the potential of Open Data to contribute to informed health planning is constrained by a lack of available information systems and analytical tools.

An approach to facilitate the better use of available data is to make data accessible via tools that help to explore, exploit, analyse and visualise the data.

The two systems discussed here are working to provide this facility with a complementary focus.

HealthLandscape Australia (HLA) :

Is an interactive web-based mapping environment which enables users to visualise and analyse primary care data. HLA aims to:

• provide flexible tools to map and analyse a wide array of relevant data for research and planning;

• enable researchers and planners to load their own data and explore;

• facilitate the use of location attributes in research and planning.

Medicare Local Health Planning Tool (MLHPT) :

Is a data publishing, reporting and visualisation platform. The MLHPT aims to:

• provide access to a wide range of Nationally and Locally significant datasets;

• reduce barriers for organisations and individuals to access and share data;

• enable customisable interfaces for different target audiences and needs.
Audience participation
The workshop will demonstrate the use of HLA and MLHPT for accessing and exploring data from a range of datasets including the National Health Services Directory, with interactive response to audience questions. Both systems will also be on display in booths at the conference for more one-on-one interaction.
Presentation type
McRae I, Gossage G, White I, Konings P, Meade D. (2013). Open Data & Planning for a Sustainable Health System - How geography and mapping can help. In: 2013 Primary Health Care Research Conference: Program & Abstracts. Primary Health Care Research and Information Service, Australia.

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