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  • Julian Tyndale-Biscoe 5:02 PM on December 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: National Community Child Health Database, NHS Wales Informatics Service, NWIS   

    How Health Maps Wales is helping to uncover patterns, trends and variation in health outcomes through the visual analysis of data

    The NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS) collects and manages data held in a wide range of national datasets on behalf of NHS Wales and the Welsh government. This includes hospital admissions data, the National Community Child Health Database (NCCHD), outpatient attendances as well as birth and death registrations.

    NWIS wanted to develop a ‘one-stop shop’ to improve access to this data and also provide a more complete picture of health for public health professionals and commissioners in small regions. It felt that low-level geographic maps using Census output areas would give them a better understanding of their local health needs and inform spending plans.

    Getting started

    NWIS developed an interactive tool called Health Maps Wales in collaboration with the Welsh government to map a range of health indicators within broad categories.

    Read the full article

     
  • Julian Tyndale-Biscoe 4:58 PM on November 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: instantatlas customers   

    Calling Denise from Derby 

    ‘Not Denise and not a Kindle either’

    ‘Not Denise and not the tablet in question either’

    Travelling by train recently I was confronted by an advert for the new ‘paper white’ tablet. It’s a smart piece of work that carries a quote from someone called Denise who is apparently a book lover, but is so bowled over by the new device she feels compelled to tell everyone about it. “It felt like reading a book,” is what the marketing department has come up with. The accompanying picture is rather cheesy and features a model who definitely isn’t called Denise (this picture is the nearest to it we could find).

    I’ve worked in publishing and marketing for many years and the temptation to promote by pulling a quote out of thin air and attribute it to Dave for Dagenham is overwhelming. In the past this sort of thing was commonplace, but the days when punters are fooled into thinking that Denise might really exist are long gone.

    We have ways of leaving immediate feedback on the services and products we buy, we don’t mind if other people see what we write. We are encouraged to do so. We are connected by social media to other people who share their innermost secrets with us. So why in such a world would a marketing team decide that a quote from Denise would help them sell more tablets.

    Campaigns that work well feature real people. Take the cruise company that asked travellers to send in pictures of themselves having a great time on board its liners. The result is simple – it doesn’t feel like they are being asked to say nice words about their experience but the two are neatly aligned.

    Our noses are becoming more sensitive and better tuned to sniffing out planted reviews and over-eager testimonials. Getting real customers to become part of your promotion is the only way to go.

    However, proceed with caution. Twitter marketeers discovered recently you can go too far when it comes to getting real people say the things you want them to say via social media. A safer alternative is to ask your customers take part in webinars or live webcasts so prospective customers can hear they are genuine and even ask the questions they might feel a sales person would try to ignore.

    I hope I’m wrong about Denise and that she really does live in a semi in Derby and every weekday morning she tries to snatch a quick read of the latest book by her favourite author on her way to work.

     
  • Julian Tyndale-Biscoe 11:22 AM on October 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , gloucestershire county council, , , ,   

    How InstantAtlas is helping Gloucestershire County Council meet its transparency agenda through interactive mapping 

    InstantAtlas in action

    Katherine Martin, from the Strategic Needs Analysis Team at Gloucestershire County Council explains how it is using interactive mapping software to help encourage self-service and meet its transparency agenda.

    What is your project?

    Over the last few years we have been focusing on making data available within the organisation, as well as to our partners and the public, in an easy to use and accessible way that is less resource intensive.

    This has taken many forms including a publicly available website Inform Gloucestershire, the JSNA (a strategic planning tool which brings together the latest information on health and wellbeing) and MAIDeN (a multi-agency database where users will find interactive profiles for the different neighbourhoods in the county).

    InstantAtlas has been part of the process of making information available in ways that are easy to use, understand and update. It has allowed us to visualise data in a new format that has enhanced our existing offer.

    Read the full article

     
  • Julian Tyndale-Biscoe 1:50 PM on May 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Child Health Atlas, Dr Ronny Cheung, health service journal, NHS Atlas of Variation in Healthcare, professor Jack Wennberg   

    Using online maps to address unwarranted variation in health 

    Writing in the Health Service Journal this week (subscription needed) paediatric registrar Dr Ronny Cheung highlights the NHS Atlas of Variation in Healthcare and in particular the Child Health Atlas as a useful tool in helping NHS commissioners reduce unwarranted variation in healthcare.

    Unwarranted variation is a term associated with the work of professor Jack Wennberg who spent four decades documenting the geographic variation in the healthcare that patients receive in the United States. His assertion is that the variation occurs because healthcare is complex and there are many influencing factors. These include socioeconomic factors, differences in population age or gender and also innovation in healthcare delivery – which may lead to improvements in the quality of healthcare services delivered in one area.

    Wennberg also believes that some variation is unwarranted. In other words, it should not be happening and can occur because healthcare professionals are not practising according to evidence-based clinical standards, or there is variation in clinical performance. It has also been shown that where there are high levels of healthcare provision, there are higher admission rates and more outpatient appointments.

    The Child Health Atlas was devised as a way of illustrating the variation in healthcare children receive across 27 indicators of child health. It was compiled by the Child and Maternal Health Observatory and for the first time provides a visual online demonstration of variations across the breadth of child health services provided in England. You can read how ChiMat worked with InstantAtlas here. The Child Health Atlas allows users to view any of the 27 indicators at upper tier Local Authority or PCT level. The extent of the variation is considerable. For example, perinatal mortality varies twofold among PCTs in England and breastfeeding rates threefold

    The intention is that clinicians, commissioners and service users will be able to identify priority areas for improving outcome, quality and productivity. The question is, now that we have the tools to reduce unwarranted variation in the shape of the Child Health Atlas, whether we will see a coordinated effort. Commissioners, local authorities (now responsible for public health) and provider organisations will have to work together to reduce variation. However, there are some who believe this in increasingly unlikely and that health and social care delivery is likely to be fragmented as a result of the Health and Social Care Act. As with so many things in healthcare delivery, it is going to be a case of having to wait and see.

     
  • Julian Tyndale-Biscoe 9:44 AM on February 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: search engine optimisation, search engine optimization, SEO, SEO for Community Indicators, SEO for Local Information Systems   

    InstantAtlas – making sure the right people see your hard work 

    Investing time and effort in developing a local information system or community information system might seem like the number one priority but there’s no point putting in the hard work if no-one knows it’s there. In December 2010 there were 255 million websites and 21.4 million were added in 2010 alone. So the valuable insight provided by your LIS/CIS is competing with millions of bytes of content. You might think that search engines will help push you to the top of the pile – especially as local information systems is a relatively niche area.

    However, search engines could be working against you by ranking other sites and web pages higher than yours – even though your content may be more relevant to a particular search. The way search engines work is by indexing content with relevant tags that are subsequently picked up in searches. Search engine optimisation (SEO) optimises a web site by making sure that when it is indexed by search engines the right descriptions about the content are picked up. The ultimate aim is to increase relevant traffic and search engine ranking of the website pages.

    David Carey, marketing manager, Geowise has helped customers using InstantAtlas to optimise their websites. A good example is the work he has done with Lewisham Strategic Partnership (LSP). Jeff Endean is principal policy officer, Lewisham Borough Council. He says: “Lewisham council has its own website but also hosts the LSP partnership website. We wanted to make sure that anyone typing in Lewisham statistics’ would be able to see the LSP website. InstantAtlas helped us tweak small but important elements such as design, layout, keywords and tabs to make sure the site was search engine optimized. We haven’t publicised the LSP website yet but its search engine rankings show that we have already met this initial objective.”

    Ben Mango, database and website consultant, was working on the LSP project for the council. He says that he knew a little bit about SEO but InstantAtlas did a thorough job in optimising the LSP site. “InstantAtlas produced a document detailing the key areas where the LSP sites needed to be optimised and how to carry this out. As well as understanding more about optimising the site, I also have a better knowledge of the tools to assess how well the site is performing.  Since the website has been optimised it is now performing much better in terms of the results from search engines for its key words.”

    The results are striking:

    • The Lewisham LSP website is able to compete directly against Lewisham Council’s own website for people looking online for local statistical information related to Lewisham.
    • The LSP website now ranks 3rd on Google.co.uk for ‘Lewisham statistics’, each page can target a specific keyword group e.g. Lewisham economic performance, Lewisham deprivation statistics and so on
    • The LSP website ranks 5th on Google.co.uk for ‘Lewisham recession advice’ this type of information is available and accessed considerably on their site.

    David says: “The LSP’s website is relevant to the users of insight provided by the LSP and is supported by InstantAtlas server. By using Local SEO tactics we have made sure that the website is becoming a real source of information for local people and partners. There are thousands of local queries every month and applying SEO provides greater and more efficient access to match queries to your information.”

    For Lewisham LSP it means that it is fulfilling its role as a driving force in setting the strategic direction for the borough. It is ensuring that partners and the public can easily access the right intelligence when they need it. SEO has provided a low cost approach to attracting local partners/public.

    Implementing SEO gives organisations the ability to compete for positioning against bigger players. Lewisham Council has a domain authority of 63/100 compared to the LSP of 29/100 but the LSP can still position itself on the same page for such keywords as Lewisham statistics.

    The benefit of investment in SEO is also likely to outweigh any investment in pay per click (PPC) to maintain ranking in a search engine website’s sponsors sections. InstantAtlas believes PPC is a short term approach which can be used for rapid increase in traffic but it is expensive.

    It was estimated that in 2010 around $20 billion worldwide was spent on paid searches (putting a company/organisation name on the sponsored sections of Bing and Google). This provides around 15 per cent of all the clicks, which equates to 15 per cent of all traffic. On the other hand, SEO gets 85 per cent of all the clicks, and spend is estimated at around $2 billion.

    From an advertising budget perspective if it costs £0.50 for each click through, then to get 100 people to come to your website for 30 days it would cost £1,500. Over a year that would work out at £18,000. An initial investment of £3,000-4,000 in SEO over the same period will give you greater access to more search queries and you are not paying for every click.

    Many InstantAtlas users are working on projects to build websites of 50 pages or so and effort is directed at the development but often there is little consideration about how the pages ‘get to market’. “You can have a very impressive looking site but you have to make sure it is geared to what people are after,” says David.

    Optimizing InstantAtlas Reports for Search Engines

    See the video

    To find out more about SEO consultancy from Geowise contact David Carey: David.carey@geowise.co.uk



     
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