Alaska Health Care Data Book:
The need for health care in Alaska is driven, in part, by ongoing demographic changes and by the expectations of Alaskans for better, more accessible and more responsive health care. As well, changes are occurring in health care delivery, health information technology and financing of health care. As a result, there is a growing need for more data, better data, and more timely data.
Alaska Health Care Data Book: Selected Measures (2007)
(AHCDB), summarizes the current state of our knowledge regarding many factors that impact the health of Alaskans, and provides a quantitative portrayal of our health care system. It is intended for use by a broad range of opinion-leaders, policy-makers, managers and other stakeholders. The report examines an array of demographic, social, economic, injury, disease, service delivery, workforce, facility and capacity measures.
This report was produced by Health Planning and Systems Development, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS). Funding for this project was provided by a Primary Care Office (PCO) Cooperative Agreement (#68C5O0157) between the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and Alaska DHSS. HRSA requires that the Alaska PCO conduct an overall statewide assessment to ascertain unmet primary health care needs, to identify health disparities, and to determine health care workforce issues. A key issue is the degree of difference between capacity and need. The Alaska Health Care Data Book is now the backbone of that effort.
The Alaska Health Care Data Book makes more data available to the general public. The information relates to critical, evolving trends in health care, and to some of the socio-economic determinants of health. Additionally, varied elements of the service system, both within and outside of state government, need a single, integrated, data resource that addresses the broad range of data needs faced by health program managers, planners, evaluators and advocates. With the Alaska Health Care Data Book, we have the capacity for distribution, use and update of a single, holistic sourcebook.
The AHCDB presents information about health disparities, data useful in health care planning. Further, the AHCDB has the potential to improve both data-sharing, and, response-to-query. It may enhance both the quality and speed of technical assistance, workforce development efforts and shortage designations.
The Data Book is organized into four major sections. Data in each of the four main sections are categorized into several topical subsections. Each of these four parts begins with an overview, a series of short narratives which describe each section’s main findings. There is a narrative description that corresponds to each table or figure found within that section. The narratives are ordered in the same sequence as the corresponding data-sets. Every data-set cites its original reference source and most give a related web-link. Listed below are the titles of the four main data sections:
Section 1: Demographic, Social and Economic Profiles
Section 2: Population Health Status and Risk Profile
Section 3: Health Care Workforce and Shortages
Section 4: Health Care Resources