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The Future of Healthcare: Community Health Assessment Done Right

A network visually depicting how community input

becomes meaningful health assessments.


Currently there is a problem in the way organizations assess and implement decisions to improve the health of communities.  Scarce resources such as government funding are not allocated efficiently. Overall, the community does not receive the help that they truly need or that the organization’s intervention does not make a beneficial lasting impact on these communities.

As part of the interdisciplinary collaboration of the business school and other departments within Loyola, the CME Group Foundation Business Analytics Lab partnered with Dr. Lisa Skemp, Chair of Health Systems, Leadership, and Policy at the School of Nursing, to develop an application that would assess community health at various levels. The goal of the project is to develop an application that implements a 2×3 bottom-up community intervention framework which is highlighted in Dr. Skemp’s book “Healthy Places, Healthy People”, to improve the decision-making process by key organizations. This framework design is already changing lives in remote areas of undeveloped countries and the hopes are that it will have the same impact in the United States. For example, an organization in the Caribbean discovered their efforts to build wheelchair ramps became a hazard for the community and caused deaths instead of an improvement. If they had assessed the cultural aspects of this framework, they would have considered the effects of living in a wet climate. After the intervention, the organization identified the root of the problem and could make the proper improvements.

Flow chart of Dr. Lisa Skemp’s 2×3 Framework


For this project, Jose Luis Rodriguez, DevOps, Data Specialist and the director of the Business Analytics Lab, Dr. Fady Harfoush lead a team of multidisciplinary undergraduate and graduate students (Business, Computer Science, Biology, Nursing). Together, they developed the back-end data architecture behind the community assessment front-end application by defining the models, policies, and standards around the data as well as protocols for its collection.

The Business Analytics Lab was given a set of initial documentations related to the framework, to assess factors such as environment, organizations and population in a community’s cultural and health perspective, also referred to as the 2×3 framework. Jose guided the team to filter, categorize, and normalize the information to create concrete data models that will help during the development and later analysis of the data.

The outcome will enable health professionals to effectively capture data about communities to draw intelligent and actionable insights that will subsequently further improve the overall health and well-being of a community.


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