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Data Driven Decisions

Data-Driven Decisions are those made using appropriate data (assessment, administrative, survey, etc.) to inform decisions related to planning and implementing strategic objectives. Yet accessing the right information in a timely and inexpensive fashion is often an obstacle to developing informed analysis and decision making, especially for the rural health system. The following is the summary of a recent data-driven project:

Identifying Access Barriers

Transportation barriers to healthcare services remain a frequently cited but poorly understood. Using Geographical Information Systems (GIS), we examined children's emergency department (ED) admissions of Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions (ACSC). ACSCs like asthma are commonly used as a proxy for appropriate access to primary health care because with proper management and care, hospitalizations are generally avoidable. The project resulted in a new measure of access called the Health Transportation Shortage Index (HTSI). As a ratio, the HTSI models the relationships between 1) the availability of transportation (distance to the nearest federally qualified health center, FQHC) and 2) access to primary healthcare services (ratio of primary care providers, PCPs, to population) and their significance to children's ACSC admissions.

Click here to download a printable PDF Summary of the Health Transportation Shortage Index.