Public health refers to the health of an entire community or group of people. Public health nurses work with population groups, including people living in a geographic region or belonging to an ethnic group. Public health professionals use programs to educate people about public health threats and advocate for health care resources and interventions. They promote good hygiene and health care practices to prevent diseases from spreading.
Public health professionals need plenty of information to do their work. Accurate information helps them determine what health issues to address and identify the most effective services. Since public health professionals rely on accurate information to make critical public health decisions, they need experts to gather and process the correct data. Let’s look at how data is gathered and processed and some examples of the data used in public health research.
How is data gathered and processed?
Every time a business or health care provider interacts with a client, they can gather data. The data can include gender, ethnicity, address, and health status. Health care providers add to their data when a person shows symptoms of a contagious illness. They may also collect information about prescribed treatments and outcomes.
Although companies and organizations collect a lot of data, much of that information is siloed. This means it’s segregated from other data. Organizations must maintain quality data records and be able to combine data to utilize it effectively.
Master data management software enables organizations to maintain master data quality. It links data sources, allowing appropriate personnel to ensure all sectors within the organization maintain consistent, appropriate data records. Organizations need the best master data management software to use data integration or virtualization to combine data sets and use data analytics to produce data-driven reports. Master data management ensures consistency, prompts staff to complete data records, and facilitates up-to-the-minute reports that organizations use to make informed decisions.
Technology companies manufacture software and hardware used to facilitate data collection and management. Organizations can use the cloud to access and connect data sources, including all data when data’s processed.
What type of data is essential for public health research?
Effective public health policies enable public health professionals to identify health risks and implement disease prevention measures. The COVID-19 pandemic illustrated the significance of public health research as experts sought to determine the method of transmission and effective ways to prevent people from spreading the coronavirus. Shutdowns, remote work, and mask mandates have all been part of public health policy around the globe since the start of the pandemic.
In addition to gathering data about infectious diseases and how they spread, research also focuses on determining the scope of health care issues, identifying risk factors, and evaluating treatment options. Data analysts may use predictive analytics to determine the likelihood of contracting a particular disease if you live in a specific area or belong to a specific racial group. For example, people of European descent are more likely to get cystic fibrosis while people of Middle Eastern descent have a higher probability of getting sickle-cell disease.
Public health professionals prepare public policies and help people receive information and resources to address their health care needs. Earning a nursing degree can prepare you for a role as a public health nurse, or you can opt to earn a Bachelor of Science in Public Health. Enrolling in a BS public health online program enables you to follow a flexible school schedule while studying at home. Earning a public health degree involves completing 120 credit hours of coursework.
Online students can apply for financial aid and scholarships. Students need powerful computers to access course materials and submit assignments. Program applicants should have a general education diploma (GED) or a high school diploma.
Public health professionals gather data about contagious diseases and community health issues. They use processed data to implement programs and policies to prevent infectious diseases from spreading.