CATCH: Comprehensive Assessment for Tracking Community Health

Three University of South Florida professors from the colleges of Public Health, Computer Information Sciences and Business Administration joined forces more than 10 years ago to use their combined expertise to develop a tool for assessing community health.

Capitalizing on a unique combination of practical experience and research expertise in information technology, James Studnicki, Alan Hevner and Donald Berndt developed the Comprehensive Assessment for Tracking Community Health, or CATCH, which  uses a data warehouse to assess the health status of community populations. CATCH Reports use more than 250 health care indicators in conjunction with an innovative comparative framework and weighted evaluation process to produce a ranked list of community health.

For health care providers, community organizations and public agencies, the assessments can be used as a tool to determine resource allocation and health care policy formation.

Individuals and whole communities benefit from the improved efficiency and effectiveness in how health care services, including medical and surgical procedures are provided. Moreover, health issues among defined populations can be better assessed and evaluated to determine smarter health care strategies for those group.

The product is licensed to a start-up company called Medegy which is run by the inventors. Customers include hospitals, health departments and managed care organizations, with a large number of CATCH Reports being delivered to government-run and private health care agencies.

This story was originally published in 2008.

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