It is essential that HRSA, BPHC, and health center organizations have access to tools and data that can assist in evaluating the geographic reach, penetration, and growth of the Health Center Program and its relationship to other federally linked health resources. In 2010, the Robert Graham Center collaborated with HRSA and John Snow, Inc. in developing the UDS Mapper to achieve these goals. By the end of 2012, the UDS Mapper had more than 6,000 registered users from a variety of backgrounds.
The UDS Mapper is a free, publically available, online mapping tool driven primarily by data within the Uniform Data System (UDS). It is built from ZIP Code level Health Center Program Grantee reporting data found within the UDS that are paired with other sources of population data. This data visualization allows a user to better understand where federally funded health centers currently serve, where gaps in the safety net might exist, and which neighborhoods or regions might hold the highest priorities for health center expansion. The original functionality of the UDS Mapper was based on formulas and reporting methods developed by John Snow, Inc. for grantee service area analyses requested by the Bureau of Primary Health Care. The UDS Mapper project is funded by HRSA and coordinated by the Robert Graham Center, and the tool itself is part of our larger HealthLandscape online mapping platform.
The UDS Mapper project continues to evolve in response to the needs of its ever-growing user base. In August 2012, the Robert Graham Center released several exciting new features within the UDS Mapper. Users now have the capability to display patient-origin data for individual Health Center Program Grantees in order to analyze service areas. Another new UDS Mapper feature uses road network analyses to show the area within a specified driving time or distance to a chosen location. Finally, a variety of economic, social, and health data is now available in the UDS Mapper to help identify areas that may have a high need for health services.
The Robert Graham Center offers a variety of support tools to aid in effective use of the UDS Mapper, including webinars, FAQs, tutorials, a knowledge base, descriptions of data sources and terminology, and personal responses to user requests (Contact Us).