38673 The Creation of Infographics to Drive Public Interaction with Data

Jessica Joiner, MPH, Public Health Research Unit, Florida Department of Health, Tallahassee, FL

Background: The Florida Environmental Public Health Tracking Program was looking for innovative ways to generate more web traffic for our public portal, while also creating materials that can be used for outreach and education.  Following the lead of the CDC, the Florida EPHT Program decided to develop Infographics that supported portal content with images and messaging designed to capture user interest and point people to www.floridatracking.com for more information.

Program background: The Florida Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) Program has been grant funded with the CDC since 2003. The data that are used on the EPHT web portal come from a variety of sources, including the Florida Birth Defects Registry, the Florida Cancer Registry, the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, the Department of Environmental Protection, Vital Statistics, and the Agency for Health Care Administration. The Florida Tracking Program also calculates a variety of measures on the built environment like proximity to parks, proximity to food sources, and exposure to hazards like busy roadways. Part of our grant mandated activities include public and community outreach, sharing our data and resources with those around the state. Communications activities have included tabling at events and conferences, partnership with statewide organizations and nonprofits, the creation of health related videos, folate and fish recipe books, and most recently infographics. These educational materials are available in print and in digital format on the Tracking web portal.

Evaluation Methods and Results: Since the creation of the first round of infographics, a total of 16,000 rack card size prints have been disseminated. A large drop shipment of 70,000 infographics will be going out to various county health departments and university partners this summer. Once our new web portal is publically launched, we will use web trend analytics to monitor the clicks, downloads, and social media shares on our infographics. 

Conclusions: The Florida EPHT Program decided to work with subject matter experts on several different topics related to health outcomes that can be found on the state portal.  The result is a series of infographics developed in-house by our Environmental Epidemiologist.  The PDFs of these Infographics will be posted to the public portal in English and Spanish, and have also been shared with other state health departments.  In addition, hardcopies of these materials have been ordered, for distribution at health fairs, conferences, and other in-person events. 

Implications for research and/or practice: The success of the current infographics show promise for the creation of materials on additional environmental and health data hosted by the Florida Tracking Program. The popularity of certain topics, such as well water testing, at events that were not the main theme has lead us to believe that there is a need and desire for certain environmental health information that we were not previously aware of. In the future we hope to better address the interest of the public by conducting more in-depth data about dissemination at events, as well as using web analytics to monitor online engagement.