The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has launched a new web-based interactive dashboard that supplements death certificate data with more timely county-level data about emergency department visits for suspected drug overdoses.
“Drug overdose death data is important in understanding and responding to this crisis, but there’s a lag in the data’s availability because it’s based on death certificates, which take time to complete and analyze,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “I am pleased that the Ohio Department of Health has launched a new publicly available web-based dashboard with more timely data about suspected drug overdoses treated in emergency departments.”
“Access to timely data is critical for communities to understand the impact of suspected drug overdoses seen in emergency departments and to identify emerging overdose trends.” said ODH Director Amy Acton, MD, MPH. “This new dashboard provides an additional tool to assist communities with targeting and coordinating prevention efforts and resources.”
New ED Dashboard
The ED dashboard uses data from the state’s syndromic surveillance system, which collects non-identifiable patient information such as the primary reason for a patient’s visit in most of Ohio’s emergency departments. State and local public health officials have used syndromic surveillance data for several years to identify spikes in drug-related emergency department visits – which could be due not only to overdoses but also to drug and alcohol withdrawal. This data has been refined to specifically identify suspected drug overdoses which are reported in the ED dashboard beginning with data from the third quarter of 2016.
The ED dashboard data can be used by state and local public health officials, substance use disorder professionals, and others to identify increases and unusual patterns in emergency department visits for suspected overdoses.
This dashboard, updated on a monthly basis, provides four sets of visuals:
- statewide trends and demographics
- trends and demographics by county
- county data table, and
- county rate maps.
Each of these visuals are interactive so the user can select specific demographic groups, time periods, and counties.