Online Tool Compares Healthcare Stats Across Nevada

Jan 5, 2016

Credit Alex Proimos / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

A new online tool is offering healthcare data that's broken down for each Nevada county. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman reports the database provides snapshots on how different counties compare on everything from their healthcare workforce to how many of their residents have health insurance.

The project is called the Nevada Instant Atlas and it looks at healthcare indicators, including population demographics like income. It also profiles the overall health of people in a given area, along with their access, or lack of access, to medical specialists.

Tabor Griswold is a research analyst for the University of Nevada School of Medicine, which created the database. While compiling information from more than fifty sources, she was surprised at how heavily tied Nevada's doctor shortage is to one specific area of the state.

"When I was looking at physicians by specialty," Griswold says, "I realized that a lot of the counties in rural and frontier Nevada had the same access to family physicians as Clark County does."

That means two things. First, that the state's doctor shortage isn't just a rural problem. Second, that Clark County holds quite a bit of weight when it comes to certain healthcare statistics that may not necessarily represent the state as a whole.

Overall, Griswold says the goal of the project is to give researchers, policymakers, and everyone else a clearer picture of healthcare needs across Nevada.