In addition to the visuals using community health center and health plan data, it is also possible to create visuals using publicly available data. As an example, we developed views using the publically available UDS and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data.
These data sources allow you to look at health, patient experience, and cost in a regional context. They also enable you to develop ideas about how to use public data in the interim while you develop your own data infrastructure. Finally, publicly available data sources can help fill data gaps that you can’t close with your own community health center data.
We selected the following measures from UDS and BRFSS to visualize the Triple Aim:
- Health: Percent of hypertensive patients with controlled blood pressure, by community health center, 2011-2014 UDS
- Patient Experience: Percent of the population with a regular source of primary care, by county, 2014 BRFSS
- Cost: Total cost per patient using operational data, by community health center, 2011-2014 UDS
Because there are limitations to UDS data, we suggest caution when interpreting these images. Despite data limitations, these images are a good starting place for generating ideas on how to use publicly available data to visualize the Triple Aim and value.
What the enhanced image (Figure 4) shows
First, users select counties of interest on the left. The image shows whether community health centers in the counties of interest have scores that are better than average (green), comparable to average (gray), or worse than average (red).
Then, users select comparison counties on the right, which are used to calculate the blue diamond mark estimates.
The state average reference line is shown for each measure using data reported by all federally qualified health centers in California reporting to the UDS.
The bottom line
You can compare community health centers in one county versus another county (or several counties simultaneously) on value.
Figure 4. Visualize the Triple Aim across health centers within your geographic region – publicly available data
Note: For our example image, we have selected San Francisco and San Mateo counties on the left and Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz counties on the right for comparison.
What the enhanced image (Figure 5) shows
You can assess community health center performance relative to other community health centers in the county or neighboring counties or relative to other community health centers with similar patient volumes. There are three main parts to the image.
The scatterplots on the right allow you to compare community health centers on average patient costs and blood pressure control over time.
The map on the left depicts community health centers within counties.
The bottom line
Figure 5 highlights the variation that can exist among community health centers in the same county. It also highlights community health centers with strong performance on health despite the challenging context of relatively low primary care access in the county.
Figure 5. Visualize the Triple Aim across health centers within your geographic region -- mapping publicly available data
Note: On the far right panel, users can select counties of interest and health centers’ patient volumes.