Performance Improvement 2009. What Factors Need to be Considered in Promoting the Effective Identification and Use of Health Data by Tribal Communities?


This study examined the mediators and barriers that exist within tribal communities that affect the translation of quality health data into health programs and policy that can reduce health disparities. The project supported a systematic investigation of the kinds of data and used among Northwest Tribes, and of the mediators and barriers that affect the use and translation of such data into health programs and policies conducive to improved health status and reduced health disparities among American Indians/Alaska Natives at the Tribal level.

Successful use of data to guide programmatic and policy-relevant decision-making depended on several keys: strong leadership, a team vision, and investments in time and funding to prepare staff on how to access and use information. Data collection efforts encountered several barriers: staff shortages, rapid staff turnover, and inadequate staff training in data collection, management, analysis, and interpretation; concerns about data quality and whether conclusions drawn from the data are reliable; ineffective coordination among programs collecting or using data on the same local population; and communication breakdowns between tribal leadership and tribal health programs; and insufficient funding underlying and reinforcing other barriers.

Report Title: From Data to Action: An Evaluation of Tribal Data Use to Eliminate Health Disparities among Northwest Tribes; Report may be obtained from Federal Contact
Agency Sponsor: OPHS, Office of Public Health and Science
Federal Contact: Julie Moreno, 240-453-8222
Performer: Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board
PIC ID: 8615

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"PerformanceImprovement2009.pdf" (pdf, 1.26Mb)

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