Leveraging census data and geographic information systems, researchers have mapped and analyzed areas of socially and medically vulnerable older adults in South Florida who previously have not been identified by traditional population-wide healthcare analyses.

GIS mapping is a valuable tool for policymakers to develop more targeted and low-cost methods to serve the healthcare needs of the elderly, particularly as the population of seniors is rapidly increasing, says Justin Stoler, an assistant professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Miami. He also believes hospitals and insurers could improve surveillance of older adults discharged to high- or emerging vulnerability areas as part of a larger strategy to decrease readmission rates.

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