Health and Human Services

Hospital and Health Systems

How GIS is Used

The following core hospital and health system functions can be enhanced with GIS.

and Planning

Data Management

Point-of-service address management and geocoding, or registering the precise address of a patient upon entering the hospital, provides valuable information that can be combined with a GIS for rapid identification of a disease outbreak (e.g., several people complaining of similar symptoms visiting the emergency department within a few days) as well as enhancing the hospital's revenue cycle with accurate billing information. Asset tracking and monitoring of both equipment and personnel throughout the hospital is vital to improving workflows and efficiency while also maintaining a higher quality of care.

Marketing and Planning

GIS provides the framework to merge multiple demographic and health datasets to determine the current needs of a community and identify gaps in health care and services. By combining community demographic data with health service demand data, hospitals can gain valuable insight through GIS to determine where to open ancillary clinics or additional hospitals or establish specialties by analyzing the potential revenue as well as community need from a certain location.

Patient Safety

Infection control practitioners use GIS to integrate and analyze multiple data sources in both a spatial and temporal context to gain valuable information on the origins and pathways of hospital-acquired infections. By monitoring the status of patients along with the movements of staff and equipment throughout the facility, GIS helps to quickly identify the source of infection so that hospital staff can prevent it from spreading. The data collected through the clinical system can signal a need for public health to follow up when elevated levels of specific chief complaints are seen in the emergency department. GIS can be the tool to determine where this is happening and what interventions need to be taken.

Situational Awareness

Spatially-enabled dashboards can provide hospital leadership with an overall picture of the health of the hospital landscape. GIS also provides insight into resources needed to adequately serve a community, including routing of emergency responders to nearby facilities, estimating the demand for personnel and equipment, and establishing plans for performing critical business functions and maintaining continuity of care during major emergencies and natural disasters.


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