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AMA Launches Enhanced Geospatial Mapping Tool Identifying Underserved Patient Care Areas

August 30, 2016
by Heather Landi
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The American Medical Association (AMA) this week unveiled enhancements to its Health Workforce Mapper, an interactive mapping tool that can help healthcare providers identify underserved patient care areas.

The geospatial mapping tool illustrates the geographic locations of the health care workforce in each state and also now provides population health data by geographic location, according to an AMA press release. The new "Population Health Explorer" feature 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, according to the AMA.

“Improving patient access to quality care is a core mission of the AMA, and this mapping tool will show physicians and health care professionals precisely where their skills can most benefit populations in need," AMA president Andrew Gurman, M.D., said in a prepared statement. "Knowing where health care 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."

Specifically, the AMA's Health Workforce Mapper tool gives physicians and other healthcare providers information, using AMA data and other data sources, to identify health professional shortage areas, hospital locations, as well as other related workforce trends.

In addition, the tool can help new physicians close the gap in patient access to care by giving residents and medical students access to important information that allows them to see, from state-to-state, where there are shortages in certain medical specialties.

The newly enhanced tool, which is available to the public for free via the AMA website, was developed in collaboration with the American Academy of Family Physicians Robert Graham Center and HealthLandscape.

 

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