visualize | communicate | ENGAGE
Denmark is divided into five regions which are responsible for healthcare, regional development as well as social services and special education. The North Denmark Region is the smallest in terms of population. Over 90 per cent of the region’s budget is devoted to healthcare. Primary health care is delivered by general practitioners and secondary care by the region’s four hospitals across 11 sites.
A wide range of data about healthcare services is collected centrally and used to develop the region’s health plan. This has previously been presented in a report format but it was felt that a visual approach would help users get a better understanding of the data. Thomas Mulvad, Specialkonsulent, The North Denmark Region, explains that data presentation and interactive mapping software was a step in a new direction.
“We have excellent data but we had never presented it in as an interactive map so it was a learning process,” says Thomas. “The data includes information on hospital admissions as well as primary care.”
Thomas says working with InstantAtlas was straightforward although there were a lot of indicators. “We have traditionally worked in SAS so we initially had to create a bridge to InstantAtlas but now everything works automatically,” he says.
As for feedback, the new presentation has just been released and individual municipalities have just started using it but according to Thomas, they can see it has great potential. “The barriers to using the data have been high because the municipalities don’t have their own experts who can analyse the health data. Now we have given them the data in a format they can use easily. It’s much easier for them to analyse the data themselves.”
Thomas and the team plan to follow up in a couple of months to evaluate use of the maps. The intention is to widen the presentation to include other themes. The North Denmark Region takes part in a nationwide health survey which is carried out every third year to evaluate the health status of the population. It is likely the team will make the data from 2010 and 2013 available in the same format using InstantAtlas.
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