Client: The Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute at the Australian National University
The Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute (APHCRI) provides national leadership in improving the quality and efficacy of primary health care through the conduct of high quality priority-driven research and the support and promotion of best practice. The goals of APHCRI include strengthening the knowledge base of primary health care through research and facilitating the uptake of research evidence in primary health care policy and practice.
APHCRI has a number of research foci including an interest in the use of geographic information systems (GIS) in primary health care research.
Recognising the importance of the various geospatial dimensions of health care, APHCRI established the National Centre for Geographic & Resource Analysis in Primary Health Care (GRAPHC) in November 2011.Given the wealth of data now available given the shift towards electronic health records (EHR) and systems as well as the increasing use of the World Wide Web within the primary health care community, Web Mapping Capabilities are a critical enabler for GRAPHC and a strategic pillar for the Institute.
Web-based mapping is an ideal tool to assist GRAPHC in achieving its objectives of conducting and supporting research activities and facilitating the uptake of research by providing:
- Access to primary health care and other related population data at varying levels of detail;
- Tools to visualise, interrogate, extract and analyse these data; and,
- Mechanisms to share data and communicate research outcomes.
Spatial Vision was contracted to deliver a Web-based Mapping Strategic Plan and associated Technology Road Map.
The project involved developing a set of business requirements, based on consultation with over 25 stakeholder organisations across Australia. These business requirements formed the basis for the subsequent phase, Web Mapping Solution Assessment.
The Solution Assessment involved acomparative review of 40 web mapping systems across Australia and Internationally.The assessed solutions included vendor-based, open source, commercial off the shelf (COTS) solutions and mixed solutions (i.e. those comprising ofboth vendor-based and open source components).
The Web Mapping Strategic Plan is enabling GRAPHC to engage with web GIS technology in a cost-effective informed manner. Effectively, the Research Institute now has a well-defined set of business requirements that accounting for the needs of its distributed body of stakeholders. The short-term and medium-term recommendations are enabling a rapid and cost effective Web Mapping Implementation and will spatially empower Primary Health Care Research Activities throughout Australia.