Methods: Nationally there has been an increase in innovative visualization of public health data using techniques originally designed for business analytics. Texas Health Data (THD) is an interactive website managed by the Center for Health Statistics within the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). THD includes public data and statistics on various public health topics based on datasets housed within DSHS and other state agencies. Each page on THD, designed using the software program Tableau, is called a “dashboard” and in addition to state-level summary reports, users can query the datasets to obtain statistics among demographic and geographic groups of interest. The purpose of THD is to enable data-informed strategic planning, implementation, and evaluation of services throughout Texas as well as aid in research and policy development.
Results: During the past year, THD has expanded to include opioid-related dashboards: mortality, emergency department visits, exposure calls to the Texas Poison Control Network, and opioid prescription dispensing data from the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program. An important consideration in the development of the opioid-related dashboards is ensuring the data presented benefits a wide range of audiences. Furthermore, due to the geographic and demographic diversity of the state, it is critical to present data with as much granularity as possible to accurately illustrate the unique needs of each community. Benefits of hosting an interactive data visualization website include the opportunity to collaborate with stakeholders, both local and statewide, and the ability to revise and update content in real-time.
Conclusion: The opioid crisis is constantly shifting and data dissemination is critical for planning and evaluating prevention programming. Interactive data visualization websites, such as Texas Health Data, are well-positioned to help communities, regardless of analytic background, “tell their story”. This session will demonstrate best practices for interactive data visualization that can lead to better dissemination of health information.