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Health status indicators are numerical data submitted by various stakeholders in the healthcare sector. Those assessing the health system of the community or state collect health status indicators through various methods that include individual or focus group interviews and surveys (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2016). Stakeholders collect the data in two categories that include secondary and primary. Examiners collect secondary data from different sources that include online publications and other health journals and publications. Possible accessible numerical data is the health outcomes that include morbidity and mortality and other health variables and population traits. Primary data involves the researcher at community level (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2016). Researchers collect primary data through participation in community activities, individual and focus group interviews and visiting health facilities to acquire specific information.
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According to the county ranking report, the leading health status in New York is the heath outcome. In New York, premature deaths are prevalent with 8900 out of 100000 populations dying before the age of 75 with over twenty-five percent of adults reporting fair or poor health. Additionally, live births with under 2500grams stand at ten percent (Health Rankings, n. d.). Therefore, it is evident that a health outcome is the leading health indicator in New York. The second indicator health behaviors where twenty two percent of the adults smoke tobacco and thirty-four percent are obese. The third indicator is the clinical care where fourteen percent of the population is uninsured and the ratios of healthcare providers are worrisome. For instance, the ratio of primary care physicians is at 690:1 (Health Rankings, n. d.).
Socioeconomic status is the strongest predictors of a person’s health status. The factor is persistent across all diseases with few exceptions throughout the entire life span and stretches across various risk factors for disease. The substantial influence of socioeconomic status on health status makes it a crucial factor. Socioeconomic status comprises of factors such as financial, occupational and educational influences. Although these variables are interrelated, preceding studies reveal that they reflect different societal influences associated with health and diseases. For instance, income reflects spending power, housing, and medical care. Additionally, income controls physical activity and work experience. On the other hand, education indicates skill necessary to acquire a better income. Considering such facts, the most affected are low-income earning communities. For instance, a low-income community cannot secure better medication to mitigate premature deaths.
Secondly, health behaviors within the population affect the health status indicators. According to the New York county health rankings, twenty-two percent of the adult population smokes, and thirty-four percent of the population is obese (Health Rankings, n. d.). Smoking and overweight are the leading factors in contraction of chronic diseases that include heart failure and stroke. Based on this fact, obesity and smoking lower the health status of New York. Furthermore, sexually transmitted infections particularly Chlamydia is rapidly increasing where 1,139.6 of every a hundred thousand population are newly infections (Health Rankings, n. d.). An increased infection of STIs highly affects the younger population.
Finally, physical environment influences health status indicators. The County report reveals that a percentage of the population lives in areas with polluted air and the available water for consumption is not clean. Additionally, the report shows that thirty-nine percent of the population has a severe housing problem. Poor housing indicates negative health status while suitable housing indicates positive health status. In old shelter, the population is likely to be exposed to lead-based painting that is harmful (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2016).
The central public health function of evaluation comprises activities such as collecting, analyzing and disseminating information on the health status and health-related issues in the community. The study aims at addressing emerging questions such as quality, sufficiency, and adequacy of the available health services. Additionally, evaluation of the healthcare system enables the government or state to set goals and objectives for improvement of health care.
Most states and other authorities provide publications describing the health status of an individual community and populations. The New York state has developed a healthy people 2020 plan where the main agenda is prevention. First, the state targets to prevent the rapid increase in chronic diseases. In this case, the state aims at reducing obesity in children and adults. Furthermore, the state seeks to intervene in the reduction of illness, disability, and life-related mortality rates. On reduction of physical environment related health factors. On the physical environment, the state intends to provide a healthy and safe environment by reducing air pollution, address violations on drinking water, improve the housing problems and reduce injury-related deaths especially road accidents. Additionally, the state plans to promote mental health and eliminate substance abuse by providing the necessary social support to the community. Finally, the state plans to prevent new infections in HIV, STIs and avail vaccination for preventable diseases.
- Health Rankings. (n. d.). County Health Rankings.
- Stanhope, M., & Lancaster, J. (2016). Public health nursing: Population-centered health care in the community (9th ed). Maryland Heights, MO: Elsevier Mosby.