Get ready to see a lot of diabetes awareness graphics on your Facebook feed this week: this Thursday, April 7 is World Health Day, and this year’s focus is on beating diabetes.
If you’re still searching for coverage inspiration, consider this an opportunity to crunch some numbers and bolster your reporting with data. We’ve rounded up a number of health-related databases and visualizations to get you started.
1. Beating diabetes
In keeping with this year’s World Health Day focus, investigate the percentage of men and women with diagnosed diabetes at your state and county levels with the CDC’s Diabetes Atlas.
Compliment your coverage with these data visualizations from Graphiq, or use the visualizations themselves as a starting point for your research:
Type 2 Diabetes Prevalence in the United States (see above embed)
2. Zika Virus
The World Health Organization announced on Thursday, March 30, it had been confirmed by scientific consensus that the Zika Virus is linked to both microcephaly birth defects and the Guillain-Barre syndrome. Follow up that announcement with this CDC report on Zika Virus cases in the United States.
Take your reporting a step further by calling local hospitals and asking whether they have a protocol in place should a case of the virus be reported locally.
3. Hospital quality of care
Find out how local hospitals stack up against hospitals from nearby coverage areas using Medicare.gov’s Hospital Compare dataset. This tool allows you to search by city or zip code for patient satisfaction survey results, complication rates and readmission statistics.
4. Prescription drugs in Medicare
How many brand name drug prescriptions have local practitioners written for Medicare patients? What is the average price of these prescriptions? How does this number compare to the state average? Check up on drug prescriptions filled locally using ProPublica’s Prescriber Checkup dataset.
5. Surgeon scorecards
ProPublica’s Surgeon Scorecard dataset allows you to search for surgeons by name or hospital, and calculates death or complication rates for these surgeons in eight of the most common elective procedures. Do any local surgeons have a higher-than-average complication rate for common surgeries like knee or hip replacement?