HCN News & Notes

AMA Tool Helps Providers Identify Underserved Patient-care Areas

CHICAGO — The American Medical Assoc. (AMA) launched an enhanced version of its Health Workforce Mapper to further help physicians and other healthcare providers improve patient access to care.

In addition to illustrating the geographic locations of the healthcare workforce in each state, the tool now provides population health data by geographic location. The new Population Health Explorer feature offers data on a variety of population health factors, including healthcare access and quality, health behaviors such as smoking and alcohol use, demographics, and social-environment factors.

“Improving patient access to quality care is a core mission of the AMA, and this mapping tool will show physicians and healthcare professionals precisely where their skills can most benefit populations in need,” said AMA President Dr. Andrew Gurman. “Knowing where healthcare services are needed most can help providers make the best decisions on where to locate or expand their practices to reach patients in greatest need of access to care.”

Specifically, the AMA’s Health Workforce Mapper tool gives physicians and other healthcare providers information — using reliable AMA data and other data sources — to identify health professional shortage areas, hospital locations, and other related workforce trends.

In addition, the tool can help new physicians close the gap in patient access to care by giving residents and medical students access to important information that allows them to see, from state to state, where there are shortages in certain medical specialties.

The newly enhanced tool, developed in collaboration with the American Academy of Family Physicians Robert Graham Center and HealthLandscape, is available to the public free of charge here.