Title: Why should 'geography' matter to public health managers?

Authors: Uma Kelekar; Xiang Liu

Addresses: Health Care Management, Marymount University School of Business, 1000, North Glebe Road, Arlington, VA 22201, USA ' Information Technology, Marymount University, 1000, North Glebe Road, Arlington, VA, 22201, USA

Abstract: This paper provides an overview of some of the uses of geographic information systems (GIS) in public health management - diagnosing and investigating health problems, analysing environmental hazards, analysing locations and access to health services, planning the use of health services and resources, managing public health emergencies, and disease surveillance. It enumerates a number of applications of GIS in epidemiology and healthcare research in the developing world, followed by an analysis of the diarrheal disease in the Philippines. Using a combination of descriptive methods, this study presents a visual comparison of distribution of diarrheal disease incidence and distribution of households with sanitary infrastructure and safe drinking water across provinces in the Philippines. A spatial autoregressive model is performed in order to examine whether there is spatial dependence of disease occurrence among provinces. The paper concludes with a discussion of extending the spatial methods to study other issues in public health research and its uses to public health managers.

Keywords: public sector management; geographic information systems; GIS; developing countries; geography; public health management; epidemiology research; healthcare research; diarrhea; Philippines; sanitary infrastructure; safe drinking water; spatial autoregressive modelling.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBPM.2013.056870

International Journal of Business Performance Management, 2013 Vol.14 No.4, pp.418 - 434

Published online: 13 Dec 2013 *

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