SNOW HILL — Launched earlier this month, a new web resource spearheaded by the Worcester County Health Department (WCHD) aims to offer huge amounts of health data in a convenient format.
“The new Network of Care site gives the public easy access to health data, resources and tools,” said Health Officer Debbie Goeller. “Stakeholders and members of our community can use the site to view promising practices from around the nation, read health news and articles, or look up community services.”
According to the site, it contains information on “community health services, laws, and related news” and features a community dashboard with data on everything from unemployment to alcoholism to cancer rates.
The dashboard compares rates in Worcester against the state average and uses an easy to understand red-yellow-green warning meter.
Besides the indicators educational value to the public at large, Goeller explained that the site can be used to help WCHD in an official capacity.
“The data available will also assist the health department and other agencies as we apply for grants and develop programs to improve the health of Worcester County residents,” she said.
Additionally, WCHD official Dr. Jane Aspon related how the site can be used to keep track of medical records, making it simple for specialists to get a complete medical history of a patient without needing to contact that patient’s original doctor. “You can have a separate record for each [family member],” she said.
The files would be protected and only available with the patient’s approval. Other tools besides patient files and community indicators include lists of service providers and their services, updates on trends and legislation, and a vast library of practices.
The WCHD imagines the site as a lynchpin to bring the medical and local community together in a mutually cooperative environment. It is also designed to serve as the center of a larger web service provider created sites which would all link to the portal’s “For Providers” section.
For more information, visit the site at http://WorcesterHealth.networkofcare.org or call the WCHD at 410-632-1100.