Why Use GIS?
Improve Organizational Integration:
One of the main benefits of GIS is improved management of organization and resources. A GIS can link data sets together by common locational data, such as addresses, which helps divisions and units share their data. By creating a shared database, one department can benefit from the work of another—data can be collected once and used many times.
Make Better Decisions:
The old adage "better information leads to better decisions" is true for GIS. A GIS is not just an automated decision making system but a tool to query, analyze, and map data in support of the decision making process.
Making maps with GIS is much more flexible than traditional manual or automated cartography approaches. A GIS creates maps from data pulled from databases. Existing paper maps can be digitized and translated into the GIS as well.
The GIS-based cartographic database can be both continuous and scale free. Map products can then be created centered on any location, at any scale, and showing selected information symbolized effectively to highlight specific characteristics. A map can be created anytime to any scale for anyone, as long as you have the data.
What Is GIS Doing for Health Organizations Today?
GIS technology is powerful and affordable. Its strengths lie in its ability to create, access, integrate, and publish large amounts of geographically relevant information. Here are just a few of the ways GIS is working in health organizations today:
- Track infectious diseases and identify gaps in child immunizations.
- Conduct areas of interest studies and document health care needs of a community.
- Manage materials, supplies, human resources, and logistics.
- Maintain locational inventories of health care facilities, providers.
- Route health care workers, equipment, and supplies to service locations.
- Publish health care information using maps on the Internet.
- Manage patient care environments and clinical resources.
- Distribute clinical data in a visual and geographic form.
- Locate the nearest health care facility or health care provider on the Web.
- Epidemiologies and outbreaks investigations.