Can Public Health Data Mapping And Visualization Transform Healthcare Globally? [Australia]

Nick Saalfeld and Ben Heubl | HIT Consultant | July 31, 2014

Laurie Hawkins, project manager of the Victorian Human Services Directory in Australia discusses how public health data mapping can improve global health.

HIT Consultant recently spoke with Laurie Hawkins, project manager of the Human Services Directory (HSD), about the opportunities of the National Health Service Directory (NHSD) and what can be achieved by many different stakeholders, both public and private. In our discussion, Mr. Hawkins explains why working with open health data directories and visualization of health access offers so much potential to change healthcare systems, and why its important, for both doctors and patients, to embrace the opportunity. A wider implication is that the initiatives Hawkins describes are examples of excellence in the HIT world, which provides other healthcare systems with valuable experiences and lessons learned to implement similar approaches.

Q: Can you tell us more about your background and work in healthcare technology?

I have been involved in Health Information Technology for the last twenty years, and for the past five years, project manager of the Human Services Directory, a Victorian Government e-health initiative. The HSD is a directory of Human and Health Services data, which contains service and practitioner details, contact details opening hours, location, national health identifiers for both organisations and providers, geo-coded service locations and much more. Given the success of the HSD in Victoria, it has now evolved into the National Health Services Directory (NHSD) supported by the Australian Federal Government and all Australian States and Territories. The NHSD has become a vital component of e-health infrastructure across Australia and there is now an International Standard for “Service Directories” based on the HSD...