HealthLandscape, an innovation of the American Academy of Family Physicians, which develops interactive, web-based geospatial tools that provide current data for health policy planners, has been awarded a $7 million dollar, five-year contract with the Health Resources and Services Administration for continuation of its Uniform Data System Mapper.
The UDS Mapper was developed to help the Health Center Program awardees identify geographic areas in their communities that lack primary health care services. The UDS Mapper allows users to analyze the geographic reach, penetration and growth of specific health care programs and their relationship to other federally-linked health resources. With such information, policy planners can identify areas that need more investment in the health care safety net.
“The truly gratifying part of this news is that HRSA is acknowledging the value of our research and the power of geospatial analysis in improving access to health care for underserved areas,” said HealthLandscape’s Jennifer Rankin, PhD, who serves as project director for the UDS Mapper. “We’re pleased that HRSA has renewed and expanded our contract to include in-house development for the coding behind the UDS Mapper.”
HealthLandscape worked with the Robert Graham Center in the successful development of the HealthLandscape mapping platform. It has held the UDS Mapper contract with HRSA since 2009. Since that time, it has been renewed and expanded to take advantage of the research capacity of HealthLandscape staff.
Available since July 2010, the UDS Mapper currently has more than 25,000 registered users and is gaining more every day. The UDS Mapper is a publicly available, online visualization and decision-support tool built for HRSA’s Bureau of Primary Health Care. It combines, analyzes, and displays ZIP code level data sources that health policy planners can use to understand factors such as where patients of health centers live and social determinants of health that affect access to health services. The UDS Mapper team supports users via online support tools, online training, interactive support, and presentations and exhibits at local, regional and national conferences.
“HealthLandscape’s UDS Mapper team are people who understand the health policy landscape and what’s going on in terms of primary care and workforce issues,” Rankin said. “We know the issues underlying the challenge of improving access to quality care. That deep knowledge is the benefit we bring to the table, and we’re proud to continue our work supporting HRSA’s mission to improve health and achieve health equity through access to quality services, a skilled workforce and innovative programs.”