More information about health care in Illinois is available on the Internet. The state’s Department of Public Health has put together a Public Health Community Map. Mary Driscoll, chief of the department’s Division of Patient Safety and Quality, says both consumers and health care professionals should find it useful as a companion to the state’s Health Care Report Card.
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“The purpose … is for consumers to get a better sense of what kind of health care hospitals are providing,” she says, “and also to look at their counties and/or communities. The data map is looking at, basically, access to primary care.”
“Patients are going to the emergency room to seek help” for non-emergencies such as routine treatment for asthma and diabetes, says Dr. Kathie Doliszny, an epidemiologist in the division. “Perhaps that’s an indicator that they don’t have access to a primary care physician or a clinic.”