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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



What is Environmental Public Health Tracking?

Environmental public health tracking (sometimes known as EPHT or Tracking) is the ongoing collection, integration, analysis, and interpretation of data about environmental hazards, exposure to environmental hazards, and adverse health outcomes potentially related to exposure to environmental hazards. The goal of environmental public health tracking is to protect the health of communities by providing information to citizens, and federal, state, and local agencies for use in planning and evaluating public health and environmental actions. Visit the What is Environmental Public Health Tracking page to learn more.
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What is an indicator?

An indicator is a fact or trend that indicates the level or condition of something. Well known indicators include gross national product, unemployment rates, and presidential approval ratings. In a public health context, indicators show trends like cancer rates, drinking water contamination levels, and blood lead levels in children. When an indicator has several parts that combine to indicate the status of the concept being measured, the individual items are called "measures." Visit the Indicator Reports Contents and Usage page to learn more.

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What types of data and information are available on this web site?

The Utah EPHT Network has data available in two different formats: indicator reports and data queries. Indicator Reports are designed to answer the question "How are we doing?" for a selected health outcome or environmental exposure. Indicator Reports include both data and information in a report format to help users understand the topic. Query datasets are available for users who want to work directly with a particular dataset. Users define their custom query settings from a list of options and the website produces the data according to the definitions the user selected. Visit the Help Page for more information.

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How are indicator data organized?

Indicator data on the EPHT portal are organized into four categories: health outcomes, environmental quality, climate change, and vital statistics. To access these topics, click on the "EPHT Topics" tab at the top of the page. After choosing a category, choose a topic and click the "+" symbol to reveal more information. Visit the Indicator Reports Contents and Usage page to learn more.

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Can I do a search to find out if you have the information I'm looking for?

To find out if the information you are looking for is in the EPHT Network, metadata records have been created to describe what is available in each dataset. Metadata includes information about content, years of coverage, resolution, limitation of use, and contact information. To access the metadata search page, click on the Metadata Index page under the "Data Portal" tab. Type your search criteria into the search box and a list of metadata records containing the term will be displayed. Click on any of the records to read more about the dataset.

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Can I go directly to the data?

You can access Indicator Reports by going to the Indicator Report Index under the "Data Portal" tab. Queryable dataset are located on the Data Query Index under the "Data Portal" tab. Both Indicator Reports and Dataset Queries can be accessed through any category in the EPHT Topics.

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What are custom queries?

Custom queries allow users to work directly with datasets. A query provides search parameters that the user must fill in according to what data s/he wants. After the search parameters are entered, click Submit and the system will provide the requested data. A list of the available public datasets is located on the Data Query Index under the "Data Portal" tab.

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Why are some data only presented on a county versus municipal level?

Sometimes, when the number of cases of a health condition is small and the total number of people from which the case(s) come is small, those particular data cannot be made public since it could be possible to trace the data back to individuals. Since the risk for a breach of confidentiality is higher when reporting small numbers, some health data are "suppressed" or "restricted." Please visit the Introduction to EPHT Secure Portal Data page for more information.

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What if I can't find the data I need?

If you have an interest in particular data, please Contact Us. We continue to add information, and keep records of requests which will help determine data and indicator priorities for the future.

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How do I request access to more data than are available through this web site?

Requests for secure (non-public) data sets can be made to the Utah EPHT Network at the Utah Department of Health. These requests will be forwarded to the appropriate data steward who is responsible for the original data and its distribution. The data steward has the ultimate authority over the data and will make a determination if the person or organization requesting additional data meets statutory or departmental criteria for obtaining non-public data. Please visit the Introduction to EPHT Secure Portal Data page for more information and instructions on how to apply for access.

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Is there a glossary of terms available?

Yes, a glossary of terms used in describing data, indicators, calculations, government agencies, chemicals, environmental factors, and more is available. To access the glossary, click here or visit the Help Page.

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Are other states participating in the EPHT Network?

In addition to Utah, more than 20 states participate in the CDC-funded Tracking network. For a map of project grantees, see the State Tracking Network page.

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How do I access data available in other states?

You can access EPHT-related data from other states from their individual websites (State Tracking Networks) or the National Portal (National EPHT Tracking Network).

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How do I access data available on the National network?

National tracking data can be accessed on the CDC's National EPHT Tracking Network website. Click on "Explore Tracking Data" to submit a custom query or choose a topic: environments, health effects, population health, or info by location.

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How do data on Utah's web site differ from CDC's National site?

Both the Utah Tracking portal and the National portal allow you to access and visualize data sets. The National portal presents datasets that have been processed according to standardized guidelines which allow for national comparisons (such as state-to-state comparisons). On the other hand, the Utah portal contains datasets that were contributed to the National portal. However, the Utah portal provides additional datasets and information that is specific to Utah's environmental and public health needs.

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What is a local health department?

Local health departments provide many essential health services including disease outbreak investigations, regulation of known sources of health hazards such as food establishments, and health education and prevention services such as immunizations and preventive health screenings. Click here to learn more about Utah's local health departments.

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The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site (http://epht.health.utah.gov). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sun, 30 April 2017 2:56:55 from Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: http://epht.health.utah.gov ".

Content updated: Tue, 20 Dec 2016 15:48:09 MST