Ph.D. candidate, Changzhen Wang, wins CPGIS 2021 Best Student Paper Award
Changzhen Wang, Ph.D. candidate in Geography, received the First Place Student Paper Award at the 28th International Conference on GeoInformatics. The award recognizes young scholars who promote academic excellence in geographic information science. Changzhen’s presented paper is entitled “GIS-Automated Delineation of Hospital Service Areas in Florida: From Dartmouth Method to Network Community Detection Methods” and it has been accepted by Annals of GIS, the flagship journal of the International Association of Chinese Professionals in Geographic Information Science (CPGIS). Congratulations!
Under the direction of Professor Fahui Wang, Changzhen’s research examines how to use GIS and spatial network community detection algorithms to delineate hospital service areas (HSAs) without a steep learning curve for public health professionals and researchers. HSA is a functional region within which patients receive most of their hospital care. The geographic unit was proposed by the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care Project in the 1990s but has not been updated for the past three decades, which concerns researchers about the replicability and reliability in examining the geographic variations in health care. This study develops a reproducible, automated, and efficient GIS tool to implement the Dartmouth method and two popular network community detection methods for the delineation of HSAs. Their efficiencies and effectiveness are evaluated using a case study in Florida based on the state inpatient database from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. The proposed methods and automated GIS tools empower public health professionals and researchers in various fields to define timely and data-driven functional regions for studies not only in public health but also in other areas such as business analysis, regional planning, and transportation analysis.