Public Health Education and Practice Using Geographic Information System Technology

Authors


  • Mary E. Riner is Assistant Professor, Indiana University School of Nursing, Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana. Cynthia Cunningham is Geographic Information System Analyst and Senior Research Analyst, Polis Center, Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana. Ann Johnson is Program Manager, Healthy Families/MOM Project, Indiana University School of Nursing, Indianapolis, Indiana.

* Mary E. Riner, Indiana University School of Nursing, 1111 Middle Drive, NU 459, Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN 46202. E-mail: mriner@iupui.edu

Abstract

Abstract  The use of geographic information system (GIS) technology allows public health practitioners to explore disparities in health, analyze disease outbreaks, and prioritize the use of limited resources for improving population health. Nursing students benefit from use of World Wide Web GIS resources as they develop knowledge and skill in assessing population health and planning interventions. This article identifies the benefits of GIS for public health practitioners, presents a communicable disease control application of GIS, and discusses a GIS module used in an undergraduate nursing education course. Uniform standards for making health data available for public use with GIS are discussed.

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