The Importance of Public Health Knowledge for Colorado

The Importance of Public Health Knowledge for Colorado

Alyssa Steeves No Comments

Colorado is perennially ranked as one of the healthiest states in the country, but what makes us so healthy? That’s what Healthy Colorado wants to explore and then report on for the state at-large. Most of the time, we think of our health in purely personal terms. And there’s a reason for that. Studies of average health outcomes have limited value when you’re doubled over in agonizing abdominal pain with appendicitis.

 

Public Health Data for the Consumer

Nevertheless, by learning about certain kinds of public health information, you can better contextualize any number of personal health choices—choices which begin long before the pangs of appendicitis or kidney stones or ulcers rear their ugly head. Why is healthcare so expensive in the Rocky Mountains? What effect does the thin air have on people’s health? What myths about health tricks are we falling for?

 

The larger perspective that comes with addressing these complicated questions can help you better navigate the countless health choices you have to make without it taking an undue toll on your meluntal health.

 

Public Health Data for the Provider

Public health knowledge is also a powerful tool in the hands of the conscientious and innovative health provider. These providers can respond to surprising revelations from reliable studies—about lack of access to certain kinds of care, about the prevalence of currently over- or under-diagnosed conditions, about everyday habits and lifestyle choices—to better design and modulate their medical practice and healthcare services.

 

Worth the Effort

We admit there’s a huge amount of noise out there in terms of available information, online blogs that are forever referring to recent studies that may or may not hold up to serious scientific scrutiny. And when we do take an honest approach, it’s rarely a straight line between the data and the best possible changes to our healthcare system and our individual healthcare choices. But it’s worth doing. Even small changes that tend to move in the right direction can have a big impact on a system as large as healthcare.

 

What Data?

In just one notable example, we recommend you check out the latest information from the CO Flu Report. And more than just glance at the top line numbers that might be casually cited in social gatherings, click through to the latest Google Document where you can find detailed information about county-by-county, age and demographical information for your particular flu risk in CO. This information is most valuable from January through April when the influenza characteristics for that year have emerged but the immediate risk of infection for individuals remains at its highest levels.