The National Rural Health Resource Center’s recently updated Population Health Toolkit — which includes the newest population health data from a half-dozen publicly available data sets — is now available online.
Developed and maintained with support from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, the Population Health Toolkit is designed to assist State Offices of Rural Health (SORHs), state Flex Programs and individual health care facilities as they seek to better understand, manage and improve population health in their communities and state.
The toolkit, which was first created in 2016 and is updated annually, includes:
- A population health readiness assessment that allows health care facilities to gauge their preparedness for population health
- Tools and resources to support health care facilities as they build their population health management capabilities
- A web-based dashboard that displays county, state, national and, when available, facility-level data on a range of population health measures, organized into more than a dozen scenarios that explore health conditions, health inequities and the leading causes of death in rural America
- Tutorial videos that offer step-by-step guidance on conducting population health analytics
The Population Health Toolkit lets SORHs and state Flex Programs:
- gain a better understanding of local and statewide health patterns by exploring the health needs of individual communities in their state
- gather data on state population health needs that can be included in their upcoming Flex Program applications
SORHs and state Flex Programs are also encouraged to share the toolkit with critical access hospitals and other rural health care providers in their state that can use its features and data to assess their readiness for population health, inform their community health needs assessment process and even compare their facilities’ performance with peers across the state and country.