Disproportionate Emergency Room Use as an Indicator of Community Health
Community health assessments rely on a number of indicators, many of which are readily available at the county level from public data sources. However, few commonly used sub-county level indicators of health outcomes and healthcare access have been identified. In suburban Cook County, data from a syndromic surveillance system was used to identify areas of geographic clustering and disproportionate use in emergency room visit rates. As syndromic surveillance reporting becomes standard among hospitals, emergency room visit rates may be a useful, sub county-level community health indicator that can be compared across jurisdictions.