NEWS CONNECTION

Improving Population Health Efforts With Updated AMA Tool

November 28, 2018

The American Medical Association (AMA) has launched a newly enhanced version of its Health Workforce Mapper—a tool that provides information on a variety of population health factors—which now includes updated data to help physicians and other health care providers improve patient access to care.

The Health Workforce Mapper illustrates geographic locations of the health care work force in each state, including physician specialties and subspecialties. Further, the tool provides population health data by geographic location.

The updated feature, known as the “Population Health Explorer,” offers data on a variety of population health factors, including health care access and quality, health behaviors such as smoking and alcohol use, demographics, and social environment factors. Additionally, the feature enables users to see where the physicians in the United States practice as well as overlay where the patients are located.

“The AMA is committed to improving patient access to high-quality care,” AMA President Barbara L. McAneny, MD, said in a statement. “With the updated mapping tool, physicians and health care professionals will be able to more precisely and easily pinpoint the areas and populations which could benefit most from their skills and services.” 

According to the AMA, the Health Workforce Mapper specifically gives physicians and other health care providers information to identify health professional shortage areas, hospital locations, as well as other related workforce trends. The AMA leverages their own data as well as data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

“Providers can use this information to help them determine where to locate or expand their practices to reach patients in greatest need of access to care.”

The tool helps new physicians close the gap in patient access to care by giving residents and medical students access to important information, according to the AMA.

The newly enhanced tool was developed in collaboration with the American Academy of Family Physicians Robert Graham Center and HealthLandscape.

The tool can be found, free of charge, on the AMA website.

Julie Gould