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Informatics Case Studies

Implementing a Software System in Northern Michigan

District Health Department Number 4 is a four-county jurisdiction in Michigan. The department serves a population of approximately 76,000 people over a geographic area of 2,600 square miles that is mostly rural. Environmental Health Director Scott Smith’s division implemented a software system to begin tracking permits, inspections, and employee time. Since then, they have been working to better understand their new software system and its potential uses.

Case Study, August 2018 | PDF

A Data Analytics Journey at the Los Angeles County Department of Environmental Health

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health serves over 10 million people and its Environmental Health Department employs around 800 people. The department has implemented an open data portal and is in the process of piloting data dashboards for the public. The goal is to operationalize data analytics to be a part of regular business operations and to develop the department’s “analytical maturity”.

Case Study, August 2018 | PDF

Asthma & Air Quality Tracking

Asthma is a disease that can affect the lungs and make breathing difficult. In the United States, about 25 million people live with asthma. We know that there is a connection between exposure to air pollution and asthma symptoms. For example, many adults and children with asthma are more likely to have symptoms when ozone and particle pollution are in the air.

The National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network is helping us understand the connection between outdoor air quality and asthma. By tracking asthma-related hospital admissions and the number of people reporting they live with asthma, the Tracking Network is helping identify high-risk groups and shaping asthma prevention efforts. Understanding the burden of asthma involves collecting data about people diagnosed and living with asthma and also collecting data about people who experience asthma attacks.

These data can then be analyzed and shared with key stakeholders.

  • The Tracking Network includes data about people who have been told by a physician that they have asthma and the number of hospital stays for asthma.
  • This information can provide estimates about the people who are affected by asthma and where they may receive care for asthma related issues. These estimates can be used to plan and evaluate asthma control efforts. Many of these asthma control efforts are coordinated by the CDC's National Asthma Control Program.
  • Data in the Tracking Network show that the number of asthma hospital admissions increased from 2007 to 2009 for several states reporting into the system. Having this information can alert public health and medical professionals to look for additional asthma prevention education opportunities.

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