GIS supports environmental public health tracking (EPHT) by providing a platform to analyze environmental exposure data alongside health outcomes data. GIS running on a mobile device helps field data collectors perform health inspections by maintaining digital records and locations of field assets for legal code compliance and ticketing. GIS is a critical component for workforce development, including GIS expertise on rapid response teams as well as workers who can analyze the geographic distribution of services for gap analysis.
GIS visualizes health data over time to assist with making policy decisions, setting goals, and evaluating outcomes by linking health data with socio-demographic, environmental, administrative, and healthcare and services infrastructure. Web-based data query systems by making health data available to the public and researchers at their level of geography so they can better understand community issues.
GIS provides public health decision makers with a common operating picture to make rapid decisions, especially during public health emergencies such as infectious disease outbreaks or bioterrorist attacks. Public health officials use GIS to track performance, analyze multiple datasets on a variety of issues, and in the longer term better allocate resources to respond to needs.
Through robust data collection and management tools, GIS provides the ability to collect data in the field and integrate multiple datasets, improving organizational processes by creating more effective workflows, tracking progress, and communicating and sharing information. Health officials can monitor health status with a geographic framework to understand and assess multiple factors contributing to human health and disease, while also studying the utilization of community health resources.