A data-driven allocation tool for in-kind resources distributed by a state health department
Published Date:Feb 18 2016
Source:Traffic Inj Prev. 17(7):681-685.
Pubmed Central ID:PMC5024329
Funding:CC999999/Intramural CDC HHS/United States
The objective of this study was to leverage a state health department’s operational data to allocate in-kind resources (children’s car seats) to counties, with the proposition that need-based allocation could ultimately improve public health outcomes.
This study used a retrospective analysis of administrative data on car seats distributed to counties statewide by the Georgia Department of Public Health and development of a need-based allocation tool (presented as interactive supplemental digital content, adaptable to other types of in-kind public health resources) that relies on current county-level injury and sociodemographic data.
Car seat allocation using public health data and a need-based formula resulted in substantially different recommended allocations to individual counties compared to historic distribution.
Results indicate that making an in-kind public health resource like car seats universally available results in a less equitable distribution of that resource compared to deliberate allocation according to public health need. Public health agencies can use local data to allocate in-kind resources consistent with health objectives; that is, in a manner offering the greatest potential health impact. Future analysis can determine whether the change to a more equitable allocation of resources is also more efficient, resulting in measurably improved public health outcomes.
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