Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to Improve Patient-Clinician Encounters and Patient Care

Kevin Gravesande, Pace University


This study evaluates the integration of a Geographic Information System (GIS) during clinical encounters and shows that it improves patient-clinician communication/interaction and patient care. The feasibility, usability, and validity of the GIS as an effective tool in a clinical encounter are demonstrated. The system makes clinicians intimately aware of their clients’ environment, and assists client/patient interaction. Health information has a geographic component and various spatial factors which have a direct relationship that can influence one’s health; this phenomenon is not new and we refer to John Snow’s outbreak of cholera in 1845. GIS in clinical sessions often provide clinicians with information needed to make informed decisions. GIS systems currently available are used in finance, health care and other industries, for tracking disease, weather, and navigating within personal vehicles. Electronic medical technology is recognized for its role in improving the quality of care, increased efficiency, healthcare delivery; prevent medical errors, enhance patient safety, and serve as an extension of this approach. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the US and other Westernized societies. Cardiovascular risk reduction is the cornerstone for CVD prevention, and diet and physical activity are essential components of a CVD risk reduction program. Risk factor reduction decreases CVD risk among individuals at high risk, and this has been well established. This implementation of a GIS system in a university based cardiology practice has been developed to explore a custom proactive intervention care plan to reduce CV risk factors. This research showed that the GIS application provides patient environmental information to facilitate CVD risk reduction, improves patient-physician support and encounters, and supports such methods as extensive literature reviews, interviews, questionnaire and survey instruments. In summary, this research developed an efficient and effective method to improve patient-physician clinical encounters and patient care.

Subject Area

Health care management|Computer science

Recommended Citation

Gravesande, Kevin, "Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to Improve Patient-Clinician Encounters and Patient Care" (2010). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI3467181.



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