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The ‘Healthy Nashville website is intended to be a place where community members and policy makers can learn about the overall health of the community. It is a website dedicated providing local health data, resources, promising best practices, news articles, and community events. In keeping with Metro Public Health Department (MPHD) mission and values, it is important that the site provides balanced information on a broad range of topics affecting the health of our community and highlights the assets in our community.
These editorial guidelines are written to provide background on the different features of the site, how the content of the site is selected and managed, and describe the governing body of the site.
No advertising will be permitted unless the Governing Body approves it.
The Metro Public Health Department serves as an editorial and advisory group for the Healthy Nashville website. The primary role of the group is to provide guidance throughout the planning, determination of best practices, determination of local indicator selection, data collection, data analysis, priority setting, development of tracking measures, marketing strategies, and public input processes.
The group reviews the news articles, promising practices, featured content and calendar of events, and strives to ensure balanced content. The Healthy Nashville website do not endorse or advocate any political initiatives or political figures.
Community Indicator Data
Indicators are presented in the nine topic areas to provide a measure of how our communities are doing. For each indicator, the actual value is shown as well as information about how we are doing compared to other geographic areas (the red-yellow-green gauge) or how we are changing over time (green or red up and down arrows) or how we compare to a national or state average (blue/white or tri-color gradation gauge) to give some context to the information. It is important to remember that while we may be doing better on some indicators than other parts of the country or compared to a state or national average value that does not mean that we should not be working on improving all indicators. Indicators are described and links given to the source of the data and what the values mean. The primary aims of the indicator system are to inform and facilitate positive change. To inform, we must provide accurate, reliable, and timely data at a geographically meaningful level. We accomplish this by selecting sources that meet the following criteria:
• Validated methodology for data collection and analysis
• Regular, scheduled publication of findings
• Focus on data values for small geographic areas, such as counties and postal codes that are available for all county-level locations in the U.S or locally through our community partners.
Through the Healthy Communities indicator system, community members have easy access to critical information about their community. The status of the community can be displayed in several ways that are easy to understand.
Regional Comparison Indicators
For indicators that are meaningfully displayed as an objective value that can be compared to other communities, the local value is assigned a status (green = excellent, yellow = fair, or red = poor) based on how the local value ranks in comparison to other communities. These indicators compare a community's measure to a distribution of other relevant geographies. For indicators where a high value is good, indicators are assigned green values if the value is better than or equal to the 50th percentile, yellow if the value is between the 50th percentile and the 25th percentile, and red if the value is less than the 25th percentile. In this ranking approach, the median is the value that provides the cut-off between the green and yellow ranking.
Regional Comparison Indicator Example: The infant mortality rate in all 3077 US counties is collected and the rate of infant mortality (number of infant deaths/100 births) is entered in a spreadsheet. The rates are ordered from lowest to highest. The 50th percentile or median value is the rate of the 1,539th value in the list of values (3077 / 2 = 1538.5, standard rounding rules round the number to 1539). Often the distribution of counties within a state or other regions must be used instead of US counties because the data is not available nationally. The cut-off point between yellow and red is the 75th percentile, or the 2,309th value in the list of values.
Average Comparison Indicators
For indicators that are not meaningfully displayed as an objective value (i.e. median home value) or where we do not have values for other communities, but do have a national or state mean value, the blue/white indicator dial (if direction does not matter) or tri-color dial (if direction matters) simply shows how our community compares nationally or statewide. This indicator is a useful way to present community data compared to the state or national median or mean value and allow the user to interpret the local indicator value.
Average Comparison Indicator Example: In a community the median home price is above the median home value compared to 39 other counties in the state. The fact that the median home value is above the median can be interpreted in two ways, depending on the end-users perspective: if you are selling your home, high median values may be a beneficial, but if you are trying to purchase a home, high median values may be a negative.
Time Period Comparison Indicators
These indicators show how an outcome varies over a significant amount of time, a commonly accepted period in the field, as indicated in the description. These indicators have three states: getting better, getting worse, or stayed the same. These indicators are typically used when distribution data is not available to calculate a comparison distribution or when trend data seems more relevant and important on an issue than comparison to other locales. They are also useful to highlight when a measure compares favorably to other communities, but the measure is actually moving in the wrong direction.
Time Period Comparison Indicator Example: In community A, the % of the population that is overweight or obese is 50.5% and this percentage has been growing over the last three years. The yearly percentages exceed the CDC 2010 Healthy People goal for healthy weight (<40% of adult population overweight or obese), though the local value (50.5%) is still better than the median value where 61.3% of adult population is overweight or obese in the state. In this case, a time period comparison indicator can be used to show that the community trend is increasing and there is a growing percentage of the adult population that is either overweight or obese.
Community Indicator Data Standards:
1. Data must be scientifically collected using quality research standards and/or be peer reviewed.
2. Data from academic institutions or government entities is preferred
3. Service statistics from local agencies are not typically scientifically collected data. This information can be incorporated into the site in other areas, but not usually as community indicators
4. The source of the data is identified and if a conflict of interest could exist on the part of the data collector, that will be clearly noted, e.g. a data collector with a commercial interest in the data.
Criteria for consideration of proposed new indicators:
1. Does it add value? (Does it fill a gap? Is it a good enough proxy measure for an area for which we want an indicator? Is it better than a current indicator?)
2. Dependable updates? (Is there the capacity for ongoing measurement?)
3. Is it scientifically valid? (Has it undergone a peer review process?)
4. Is the data available - both a value for our county and some comparison data?
What is it: Databases of promising practices and articles and literature are both initially populated by a database of national resources created by the Healthy Communities Institute. In our local communities, we have the opportunity to add local content to these sections. The sources include health departments, federal agencies, universities, and community organizations--not individuals.
Adding a promising practice: the site administrator will consult with the Governing Body and community experts/leaders in the topic area to determine the appropriateness of adding local promising practices. Again, we will use the four central questions as part of determining appropriateness of content: Does it add value or fill a gap? Are there dependable mechanisms to keep the content current? Is it valid and credible? Is it available?
The intervention must be community-focused, health related, effective, and an evidence-based practice. The research and/or evaluation process must be rigorous and the results statistically significant.
What is it: on the home page, we post local feature articles and stories on topics that enhance, analyze and provide deeper understanding of the community health indicator data, potentially promising practices, and community assets. Feature articles may be as simple as linking to existing web articles about a particular issue along with a brief article that relates to local assets or indicators or they may be completely written and created locally. Feature articles are generally rotated on a weekly basis with an eye to providing a diverse array of stories with a local emphasis.
Adding feature articles: The site administrator, in consultation with the Governing Body and other community partners, will choose the feature articles based on what they deem important local health news.
What is it: on the home page we highlight a local health program and provide relevant website and resources for that program.
Adding featured content: The site administrator, in consultation with the Governing Body and other local health leaders, will choose the featured content.
What is it: the aim of the event calendar is to provide a central repository with on-going health events in Davidson County, Tennessee including, health classes and lectures, screenings, or other relevant events.
Adding events: The site administrator, in consultation with the Governing Body and other community partners, will add health events.
What is it: the local resources section aims to provides a comprehensive community services search tool that connects residents of Davidson County, Tennessee to important local health resources. This section is populated with resources through the Metro Public Health Department.
Adding events: The site administrator, in consultation with the Governing Body, will add resources. The following criteria for selection of resources:
I. The following items should be included:
A. Nonprofit and governmental agencies that provide a health or human service in Davidson County, Tennessee.
B. Organizations (such as churches, social clubs) that offer a service to the community at large, not just their own members. Non-profit social clubs that serve the community at large are to be listed as programs under their parent organizations.
C. Hospitals with 24-hour emergency rooms.
II. The following items may be included:
A. Self-help groups that are not part of a larger agency.
B. Elected state and federal officials and representatives.
C. Organizations outside the Davidson, Tennessee that provide a service not available locally.
D. Professional organizations.
E. Advocacy groups.
F. Private organizations providing a service not adequately addressed by the nonprofit sector.
III. The following will not be included in the file:
A. Private for profit organizations unless fitting into criteria I-C or II-F.
B. Private practitioners or therapists.
C. Agencies that deny service on the basis of color, race, religion, sexual orientation, ancestry or nationality.
D. Illegal services.
E. Agencies that misrepresent their services in any way.
Links to government sites, academic centers, and some community-based organizations and foundations will be permitted only if the other site includes health and human services related information and data. Links will not be provided to advocacy organizations and organizations that offer or support products or services that are detrimental to health, such as tobacco products.
What is it: Website survey questions are non-scientific polls to gather information about how well the ‘Healthy Nashville’ website is serving its audience.
Adding website survey: The site administrator will manage this tool.