The Sarpy/Cass Department of Health and Wellness launched a new interactive website that will provide tools for the public, the media, healthcare providers and policymakers to make decisions regarding health and statistical data on Aug. 26.
“Of the 21 health departments in Nebraska, 15, including us, have signed on to partake in this feature,” Dianne Kelly, director of the department, said. “To me, public health says to me that the public should have as much knowledge as they can get from us as a resource.”
Some of the resources available include a symptom finder, the most up-to-date statistics and data, a personal profile option that saves information and much more.
“When you’re looking at something, it automatically pulls up a whole array of (resources),” Jenny Steventon, environmental health coordinator, said. “Everything ties together, so if you are interested in a mammogram, it automates support groups for breast cancer in the area and fact sheets and self assessments, and contact information.”
All the information on the website is reviewed every 24 hours and is as current as it can be. The statistics come through an existing database, and there are sources on every page so viewers can see exactly where the information came from.
While there are sites similar to the one the health department has created — WebMD is an example — the main difference and benefit is that this website is specific to Sarpy and Cass counties.
For example, a person can find and compare statistics on “what’s going around” — different diseases or health problems in Sarpy County, and compare those stats to other counties, cities, states and nationally, said Steventon.
There’s also an option to create an account and have the ability to log on and off so users can save information they are interested in.
This feature also allows the opportunity to create a medication list.
There is also the option of granting viewing permission and access to records, for example, to a spouse or a doctor.
One of the other features is the legislative tab, which shows users what bills are being discussed related to healthcare nationally and locally, and which have been passed.
There is also the opportunity to email or get in contact with local lawmakers to discuss bills and the site also gives people a chance to email whole committees instead of just one member at a time.
Its a great opportunity for people to talk to their representatives, Kelly said, and there are also local, state and national links available that can take people to city websites.
“We were excited about being able to put those local things on,” Kelly said. “That should make a good impression on our citizens that we are trying to do these local things so that they can get information like that.”
Some of the other features are links to register to vote, look up local officials, and visit other health departments’ networks of care websites.
To visit the Sarpy/Cass Department of Health and Wellness website or to create an account, visit, sarpycass.ne.networkofcare.org/ph.