A recent report from the University of Iowa Institute of Public Health Research and Policy (IIPHRP) suggests that a statewide public health database, the Iowa Public Health Tracking Portal (IPHTP), is currently under-utilized but has the potential to be a tool that could significantly enhance evidence-based, public health decision-making in Iowa.
The IPHTP is a public web-based portal that provides state and county level public health data to a variety of audiences including public health practitioners, elected officials, educators, researchers, and the public.
This report was produced in collaboration with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), which contracted IIPHRP to conduct a public health data needs assessment to help them understand the needs of stakeholders and the role of the IPHTP.
IIPHRP identified several strategies to improve data utilization for public health professionals including prioritizing resources based on the identification of primary user audiences and development of training tools for specific workforce development and continuing education regarding the use of public health data.
In response to the assessment, IIPHRP and IDPH have developed a series of training videos to help users understand some of the common definitions and terms sued in public health data reporting and analysis
All four authors of the report are with the University of Iowa College of Public Health.