OAKLAND, Calif. (September 2, 2020) – Blue Shield of California today announced its new “Neighborhood Health Dashboard,” an online tool that will advance public health services, and increase transparency around community health and help address health disparities in California.
The Neighborhood Health Dashboard uses data intelligence from dozens of sources to create a comprehensive picture of a community’s health including: health outcomes, preventative health care, utilization and access, health behaviors, social risk factors, and environment and economic health conditions.
The innovative online tool is available free to the public. The goal is to provide support to organizations and individuals such as community organizations, health advocates, hospitals, physicians, public health officials and policymakers to better understand the health of their neighborhoods and address the needs within their communities. The tool was developed in collaboration with mySidewalk and initially made available to Blue Shield’s Community Health Advocates, including those serving in the L.A. Care Health Plan/Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan Community Resource Center.
“Community health needs assessments are important tools in helping to align disparate organizations in a common strategy to improve the health of the community and address health disparities,” said Peter Long, senior vice president of Healthcare and Community Health Transformation at Blue Shield of California. “By making the data publicly available, anyone can gain a deeper understanding of the unmet social needs in their community and serve the population with increased knowledge about issues that have an impact on people’s health and wellbeing.”
A user can simply enter an address or zip code to generate an interactive, Web-based dashboard that is customized to a zip code level with a unique URL that can be shared with others. The tool includes nearly 100 data indicators that capture a holistic view of a community’s health to help inform advocacy and action for improvement.
“We are proud to work with Blue Shield of California to provide this opportunity to democratize data and align our vision for improving community health across the state,” said Sarah Martin, vice president of Health Solutions for mySidewalk. “Our mission is to empower city leaders and the public with the most complete, clear and real-time understanding of their communities so they can improve and innovate together.”
Most recently, the platform was used to produce California’s Vulnerability Index, which focuses on social and economic vulnerability of communities to start conversations about equitably prioritizing the allocation of resources for COVID-19 recovery efforts. In addition to the health impact of the pandemic on different communities, the report also considers which areas are likely to have a more difficult time recovering from the coronavirus-related shutdowns, job reductions and layoffs.