AMA enhances its interactive, geospatial mapping tool

Users can view data on where professional and service shortages exist, says Andrew Gurman, MD.

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The American Medical Association has enhanced its interactive geospatial mapping tool, designed to identify health professional shortage areas and other related workforce trends, to now provide population health data by geographic location.

Developed in collaboration with the American Academy of Family Physicians Robert Graham Center and vendor HealthLandscape, AMA’s interactive Health Workforce Mapper includes a new “Population Health Explorer” feature providing data on a variety of population health factors, including healthcare access and quality, health behaviors such as smoking and alcohol use, demographics, as well as social environment factors.

The tool can layer information on geographic and health policy data, such as hospital locations or health professional shortage areas, on top of population indicators, landmarks and other topographical features. The AMA Health Workforce Mapper also can display the ratio of physician or non-physician clinician to populations in any given region or nationally.

In addition, the tool can be used by new physicians in closing the gap in patient access to care by enabling residents and medical students to view where shortages exist in certain medical specialties. By looking at state, county or metropolitan area data, users can filter physicians and non-physician healthcare professionals by specialty and employment setting.

“Improving patient access to quality care is a core mission of the AMA, and this mapping tool will show physicians and healthcare professionals precisely where their skills can most benefit populations in need,” said AMA President Andrew Gurman, MD, in a written statement. “Knowing where healthcare services are needed most can help providers make the best decisions on where to locate or expand their practices to reach patients in greatest need of access to care.”

The enhanced tool is available to the public free of charge here. However, AMA members can view a comprehensive version of the mapper that includes the ability to export a customizable Excel file that ranks health workforce and demographic data by county.

To access AMA’s Health Workforce Mapper, users must have Adobe Flash Player 10.0 or higher installed on their computers. The app is not compatible with iPhone, iPad, or Android devices.

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