Idaho has become the first state to launch NACo’s Network of Care for Public Health (NOCPH), a public health needs assessment tool, in each of its health districts and counties. The NOCPH provides elected policy makers and other community stakeholders with easy-to-use information about where their communities stand regarding key health indicators, using the best population-based health data available.
The Network of Care provides a state-of-the-art set of community health indicators in 170 categories, all customized for each health district and county. It also provides interactive geo-mapping across the state, comparing counties and indicators. The Network of Care was launched in September during the Idaho Association of Counties’ annual conference.
“This is really a fantastic new program, tailor-made for public health departments,” said Carol Moehrle, district director of public health for the Idaho North Central District in Lewiston and past president of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). “We can now have a living report card built from all population health data sources on virtually every topic in health. Combined with model practices, trends and extensive supporting material, it makes an ideal platform for community health needs assessment and community planning.”
County Health Rankings information and Healthy People 2020 goals are integrated into the platform, and heavy use is made of information available in HHS’ Health Information Data Warehouse. Data from other state and local sources is also used. The data is matched with suggested interventions and model practices to make it easier for local leaders to effect positive change. GIS technology is used to provide geographic overlays that allow analysis and comparisons to be made within and among jurisdictions. All of the information is then placed into a local Web portal in a format that is easy to use and understand.
Linda Langston, NACo’s first vice president, was on hand for the event. “Idaho is a true leader,” Langston said. “This joint effort between NACo, NACCHO and Trilogy is remarkable work that virtually every county can use immediately. The fact that it can be replicated to any county at a very low cost makes it a complete winner. I truly expect to see this as a national platform of local health information in the near future.”
NOCPH is a project developed in partnership among NACo, NACCHO and Trilogy Integrated Resources. The concept was refined and improved through comments, ideas and suggestions made via the Community Health Data Initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
This program is available to any county and state in the country, and can be quickly and affordably replicated. You can learn more about the Network of Care program by visiting NACo’s YouTube page www.youtube.com/user/NACoVideo. To schedule a webcast demonstration, please contact Bruce Bronzan at 415.458.5900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.