exploreMOhealth was created in partnership between Missouri Foundation for Health and the MHA Health Institute, the not-for-profit corporation affiliated with the Missouri Hospital Association. By combining their resources they have created one of the most unique health-related datasets in the country. Data is the key to diagnosing and addressing some of our region’s most pressing health issues, and by making this information available to the public, both organizations are furthering their missions to improve health and the health care system.
The Foundation is a resource for the region, working with communities and nonprofits to generate and accelerate positive changes in health. As a catalyst for change, the Foundation improves the health of Missourians through partnership, experience, knowledge, and funding.
MHI supports research and other projects promoting improvements in quality, patient safety and population health. It also coordinates hospital educational programming and initiatives to support and expand the health care workforce.
About the Data
The traditional delivery of health care is moving beyond just treatment within the walls of hospitals and into managing the health of populations in the community. Health care providers are beginning to increase their focus on upstream social determinants of health that often lead to poor health outcomes. This shift is being driven in part by new regulations that require hospitals to work with public health experts, such as local public health agencies, to develop community health needs assessments and improvement plans to maintain their not-for-profit status. These factors are expediting the collaborative delivery of care across the continuum – integrating voices from public health, social service, and community action organizations. It is critical that these collaborative efforts are founded on insightful, firm data that identify areas of need within different populations and across geographic locations.
ZIP Code-level Data
The Missouri ZIP Health Rankings Project is a collaboration between researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine and the Hospital Industry Data Institute, the data company of the Missouri Hospital Association. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the project provides a unique approach to measuring community health at the ZIP code level, using hospital discharge and census-based data applied to the County Health Rankings model of population health.
The data provided by the project are designed to inform community health needs assessments at a granular geographic level to inform targeted resource allocations for community health improvement initiatives. Project findings have been presented at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association and published in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.
In 2016, approximately 52,000 Missouri adults were randomly called to participate in the Missouri County-Level Study (CLS). The CLS collected data on the county-specific prevalence of various chronic disease risk factors (e.g., tobacco use, physical activity, nutrition), medical conditions, and preventive practices. This information can be used to help define county-level health priorities. The study spans all 114 Missouri counties and the City of St. Louis. The data presented on this site are ideally suited to assist local health departments, organizations, and coalitions to determine priority health needs and interventions.
More than 100 questions were asked on a variety of related health topics. Socio-demographic questions such as sex, age, race, and marital status also were included. Respondents were non-institutionalized adults, and individuals residing in nursing homes, mental institutions, and correctional facilities were not included in the study. Data are self-reported and thereby subject to recall bias. Additionally, adults living in residences without a landline telephone that do not use a cell phone or that do not speak English are not represented.
The study is funded by Missouri Foundation for Health and conducted in collaboration with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the University of Missouri-Columbia Health and Behavioral Risk Research Center.