The work of four Dane County hospitals is responsible for Tuesday’s launch of a new website that provides up-to-date health and population data to the community., with the collaboration of Meriter Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital, Stoughton Hospital and University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, is the result of a two-year process, according to Public Health-Madison and Dane County spokesperson Jeff Golden.

UW Health spokesperson Lisa Brunette said the website will be updated with new information as it becomes available in an email to The Badger Herald.

“Paper reports have an unfortunate tendency to land on shelves from which they rarely emerge,” Brunette said. “This website is made to be interactive, dynamic and current.”

The site will be constantly refreshed so it is a continuously updated resource, according to Golden. He said this is not data that will sit and become “stale.”

Golden said the website is designed to be used by anyone who needs information about the health of the community. He said it not only provides health data, but also population data.

The website is easy to navigate, Brunette said. This is something crucial to give the user a positive experience, she added.

“It’s not designed only for government people; it’s designed for both the private and public sector,” Golden said. “It’s for anybody with any kind of interest in the data that provides the health information for the community.”

As a person not trained in the use of data, Golden said he found the site incredibly friendly. Usually, he said he is intimidated by databases, but is incredibly friendly, transparent and easy to navigate and use.

May it be a high school student doing a report, a college student working on a project or doctoral candidate writing a dissertation, Golden said becomes a central place to look for data that is relevant for any variety of subjects that require health data.

Golden said he believes is convenient resource for people with all kinds of inquiries. Now that it is launched, he said, people have a source that makes searches very easy for a variety of people.

Brunette said the purpose of the website is to give anyone in the community – policymakers, health care organizations, social service agencies and members of the general public – access to a broad range of current data on the health of Dane County.

Golden said the inspiration for came from a variety of different requirements from health care providers. However, though it was born out of mandates, the service also creates an incredibly useful tool to the whole community, he said. 

“We are genuinely excited to be offering this new resource to our community,” PHMDC Director Janel Heinrich said in a statement. “The site itself will be a rich source of specific data and useful information to researchers, professors, students at all levels and residents interested in the health of their community.”

Heinrich said in the statement the active collaboration between her department and the participating hospitals allowed for very positive synergies. This will have long-term positive impacts on the community, she added.