The Shared Health Equity Dashboard (SHED) is a collaboration between three local public health agencies and a local health integration network in southeastern Ontario. Its purpose is to allow users to interact with population health data to identify gaps in health between groups of people defined by certain social characteristics.  It contains measures of how often selected health-related outcomes occur and how these measures differ by sex, and other social characteristics like income, education, language, etc.

Background

Health equity means that everybody in society can be the healthiest they can be, and that people are not disadvantaged from being at their healthiest because of their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, social class, income level, or other socially determined situation.  A health inequity exists when a certain social group experiences a different level of health than the most advantaged social group.  Health inequities are also known as health gaps. They are considered to be unfair and avoidable. The term health gap is used throughout this interactive dashboard.

The Shared Health Equity Dashboard (SHED) is divided into five public health categories: 1) health status (i.e., overall health), 2) infectious diseases, 3) substance use, mental health and injury prevention, 4) chronic diseases and prevention, and 5) reproductive and child health. Within each category, there are one or more interactive dashboards. Each dashboard includes multiple topics. For example, the category chronic diseases and prevention includes the topics Body Mass Index, vegetable and fruit consumption, and physical activity.  Each dashboard also consists of multiple pages.

Each page has one or more interactive graphs. These graphs are best viewed in Chrome, Firefox or Edge. Not all features will work in Internet Explorer. Hovering over data points will show information about them. For health gap measures, this includes the interpretation. Hovering over the graph titles will bring up brief definitions of the terms.

More detailed information on how to use the dashboard, including video demos, can be found here.

The dashboard provides indicators that measure how often health-related outcomes occur in groups of people (incidence or prevalence). In the dashboard, groups of people are defined by social characteristics such as sex, income, education, immigration status, etc. These are called stratifiers. Measures of the difference or gap in how often the health-related outcome occurs between two groups are also provided in the dashboard.

There are several ways to measure health gaps. The rate ratio (RR) and rate difference (RD) are two ways that compare how often health-related outcomes occur in two groups of people. These are the health gap measures used in this dashboard. The RR measures the relative size of the health gap– it shows us how many times higher or lower the rate of an outcome is in a particular social group (a group with the same social characteristic, such as living in low income) compared to a reference group. The RD is a measure of the absolute size of the health gap. It shows the potential public health burden of being in a particular social group – the number of cases of the outcome that could potentially be avoided or gained if a particular social group had the same rate as the reference group.

The RR and RD show different types of information about health gaps. Both should be used when measuring health gaps. A detailed explanation of how to interpret RRs and RDs can be found here.  A video further explaining RRs and RDs and why they are both important can be found  here.

KFL&A Public Health (KFL&A), Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH), Leeds Grenville & Lanark District Health (LGLDH) and the Southeast Local Health Integration Network (SE LHIN) have come together to develop an interactive dashboard that measures health gaps in the region. The aim is to identify areas where the public health and health care systems can work together to reduce these gaps.

Data Sources (Abbreviations): Canadian Community Health Survey 2015/2016 (CCHS). Additional data sources will be added in the future.

Regions: In the dashboards, five regions are used: Ontario, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH), Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox & Addington Public Health (KFL&A), Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit (LGLDHU) and the South East Local Health Integration Network (SE LHIN). For the purposes of the dashboard, the SE LHIN region has been defined as the combined region of the three health units (HPEPH, KFL&A, and LGLDHU) even though this does not exactly match the boundary of the SE LHIN.

Rounding: In the dashboard, all rates and RDs are reported to one decimal place, while rate ratios (RRs) are reported to two decimal places. The calculations for RRs and RDs (from the rates) are calculated before rounding and so may appear to be one digit different.

Links to interactive dashboards

1. Health status

2. Infectious diseases

    • Neighbourhood level stratifiers. Not yet available. This includes:
      • infectious disease rates
      • immunization rates.

3. Substance use, mental health and injury prevention

    • Neighbourhood level stratifiers.  Not yet available. This includes:
      • emergency department visits and hospitalizations due to substance use
      • hospitalizations due to mental health
      • emergency department visits due to injuries
    • Individual level stratifiers. Click here to download data. This includes:
      • self-reported mental health 

4. Chronic diseases and prevention

    • Neighbourhood level stratifiers. Not yet available. This includes:
      • emergency department visits from chronic diseases
      • hospitalizations from chronic diseases.
    • Individual level stratifiers.  Click here to download data. This includes:
      • Body Mass Index
      • vegetable and fruit consumption
      • physical activity

5. Reproductive and child health

    • Neighbourhood level stratifiers.  Not yet available. This includes data about births.
Technical information can be found in the full methodology document. Not yet available.