Imagine it’s early in the morning and your car won’t start. But instead of taking it to a mechanic to diagnose the problem, you just start tearing out the transmission. That may help, but there’s no clear evidence that the transmission is the problem.
The state of our region’s health is very similar to a broken-down car and the repairs are not easy. Too many Texans face a health crisis, but doing the same thing in the same way without knowing all the facts won’t help address the problems. Just as you’d want to see exactly what’s wrong with your car before fixing it, health data can work to diagnose exactly what’s contributing to the health crisis in your community. This data includes key facts to help you decide what’s needed to make changes to specific factors affecting your community’s health.
That’s why EHF has released a new, easy-to-use tool to help you put important County Health Data to work for your community. Our new interactive County Health and Children’s Health Data Snapshots consolidate health statistics from many public sources and puts all the data in one place for each of EHF’s 57 counties.
“Using this map and the crucial data can help you better understand your county’s unique health needs and challenges,” said Shao-Chee Sim, EHF’s VP for Applied Research. “It helps paint a more complete picture of a community’s health and can guide you as you look for next steps to improve that health.”
The interactive map (featured above) includes county-level demographics, disease data and health behavior information for both adults and children. From life expectancy to obesity rates to pre-term births, the statistics help tell a county’s health story. The tool also gives you details on the county’s health care system including the uninsured rate, mental health providers and rate of hospital re-admissions.
But we all know a person’s health is determined by so much more than just medical care. That’s why the County Health and Children’s Health Snapshots also include important numbers on other factors that affect a person’s health. The tool contains information on health determinants like poverty rates, Pre-K enrollment, housing problems and much more.
“These non-medical factors make up 80 percent of what really determines a person’s health,” Sim said. “These factors highlight the critical need for change and can help identify focus areas and starting points.”
If you have trouble navigating the new children/county health snapshot data, click here to watch our NEW demonstration video.
If you still have difficulty, or want more information and suggestions on using the data to take actions (such as informing program, services, and policies), click here to email EHF’s Research Team or call 832-807-2564.