It’s as important now as it was at the beginning of the pandemic for public health decision makers to act quickly and collaboratively. These rapid decisions depend heavily on up-to-date, standardized and democratized data. Up-to-date case counts, recoveries, hospitalizations and ICU capacity, and vaccine coverage are all essential for COVID-19 situational awareness and response. Most importantly, these insights should be made openly accessible to the public to foster trust and participation in health policy changes.
Dashboards for a simplified, efficient response
The BC COVID-19 Dashboard Project, explained more deeply in the following video, leverages multiple interdependent ArcGIS Dashboards to help more efficiently monitor, evaluate, and respond to COVID-19 activity across the entire province. The Project is a collaboration between British Columbia’s Health and Natural Resource teams with their partners to integrate information and spatial data.
One small step in technology adoption can be a huge leap in building public health capacity
British Columbia’s approach identifies three ways that health authorities can leverage GIS platforms to build capacity for COVID-19 response and other public health emergencies.
1. Coordinated effort in the timely collection, standardization and integration of data
During emergencies, demand for data is daily, urgent and critical. When teams are empowered with tools that operationalize data ingestion, standardization, and visualization in an agile manner, more time can be spent thinking about timely, evidence-based decisions on resource allocation. Location-based risk assessments not only help stakeholders identify where to prioritize action but helps provide context on how to provide support to the communities that live in those locations.