The number of resources available to catalyze and support community health improvement efforts is growing substantially. Users report that platforms have positively influenced their health transformation efforts. Yet, there are opportunities for growth and maturation among online platforms in the areas of collaboration, technological advancement, and knowledge sharing. A future focus on these areas may drive enhanced use of these tools and ultimately create greater impact on community health improvement.
These findings are part of the Georgia Health Policy Center’s (GHPC’s) recently released brief, Enhancing Platforms that Support Local Health Improvement. The brief is a synthesis of findings from two projects1 undertaken by GHPC to help inform Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s strategic assessment of County Health Rankings & Roadmaps.
These results may be useful to those looking to support community health efforts, particularly for platform developers and funders.
The Scope of Online Platforms
- The majority of assessed online platforms offer publicly available, web-based resources.
- Less than one-third of platforms offer a structured framework to guide the use of its available tools and resources.
- Even fewer platforms provide comprehensive technical assistance.
Current Challenges for Platform Developers
- Platform developers are aware of the need to update platforms as user preferences change and technology advances. This is particularly true when it comes to the user experience–how users navigate these platforms and find the content they need.
- Universally, developers recognize the difficulty in evaluating platform impact.
- As many existing resources are underutilized, developers are challenged getting the word out about what resources are currently available.
Implications for Future Consideration
- Online platforms do impact community work.
- Data integration is important.
- Opportunity exists to connect across platforms.
- Usability and new features will drive adoption.
Click here to read the full brief Enhancing Platforms that Support Local Health Improvement.
1 These projects included a scan of the national landscape of platforms that provide support, guidance, and tools to drive action to improve community health, with County Health Rankings & Roadmaps serving as the anchor platform for comparison. The scan explored challenges and areas of opportunity for future enhancement and leverage. Additionally, GHPC interviewed users of County Health Rankings & Roadmaps to assess the platform’s influence on communities and organizational users.