Blue Shield of California launches interactive community health dashboard

A sign reading 'Welcome to California'
Blue Shield of California has a launched a new dashboard with community health data. (Getty/ChrisBoswell)

Blue Shield of California has launched an online dashboard that tracks a slew of community health needs and makes those data available publicly.

The dashboard, built in partnership with data company mySidewalk, combines information from dozens of sources to provide a look at health outcomes, care access and utilization, social risk factors and economic health conditions across California.

The goal, Blue Shield officials said, is to offer supports to community health organizations, health advocates providers and public health officials as they craft solutions targeting local needs. The data are not restricted to Blue Shield's members.

The insurer created the dashboard as part of its broader Health Reimagined initiative, which aims to take a local approach to transforming healthcare.

RELATED: Blue Shield of California teams with Cricket Health on kidney care

One of the challenges and inspirations behind the dashboard is taking insights on individual members and extrapolating that to broader community concerns, Peter Long, Ph.D., senior vice president of healthcare and community transformation at Blue Shield of California, told Fierce Healthcare. 

"One of the conundrums has been, 'How do you move from an individual to those factors in the community?'" Long said.

Long said that the data included in the dashboard was previously publicly available through community needs assessments and other analyses, but bringing that together in the platform makes it both easier for community health advocates to locate and more actionable for them to use.

A user enters the ZIP code they want to further research and the platform generates an interactive dashboard specific to that locality. While mySidewalk has access to some-3,000 data sets, Long said they focused on 100 key factors for the community dashboard.

Insights include poverty rates, early child outcomes and regional demographics.

While community organizations can harness the data to reach people living in their neighborhoods, offering the data to providers as well allows them to adapt more effectively to local needs.

"It really does let them tailor the solutions in a way that’s going to make them much more likely to work," Long said.