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Illinois Project for Local Assessment of Needs

About the IPLAN Data System
About the IPLAN Data System

The IPLAN Data System provides access to essential public health data for assessment and planning purposes. The available data are collected from many different sources. Data are generally provided at the county level and, in some cases, at the community level. The system further identifies associated populations by age, race, ethnicity and gender for selected indicators.

Uses of the IPLAN Data System

The IPLAN Data System was designed initially to provide local health departments (LHDs) in Illinois with quick and easy access to data needed for community assessment and program planning. It may be used to support a variety of other activities as well, including--

  • Program development. The IPLAN Data System helps to identify public health problems and, therefore, provides a basis from which to design and structure public health programs in the community. For example, if a community experiences an increase in infant mortality, IPLAN data may help to determine how best to target a public health program.
  • Grant writing and funding acquisition. The system facilitates responding to funding opportunities by making data readily available. By eliminating the need to consult a multitude of different sources, the IPLAN Data System streamlines data gathering requirements for grant applications.
  • Consultation and technical assistance. The IPLAN Data System strengthens the user's ability to respond quickly to requests for information and technical assistance on a variety of health issues. System-generated summary reports provide a snapshot of a community's health status to interested parties, while the easy-to-use screens enable the user to review available details for particular health indicators. The IPLAN Data System can support the LHDs role as a clearinghouse for public health information in the community.
  • Source for public health information. The IPLAN Data System contains pertinent information for use by the public, health professionals, researchers, and media interested in the health of their community.

The IPLAN Data System provides easy access to selected public health indicators. Design features include --

  • County and community data. The user may view most data at county or community levels. Not all indicators have data available at the community level.
  • Grouping of counties, communities or years. If indicators for one county or community do not have a sufficient number of events for study, the IPLAN Data System allows the selection and combining of counties, communities or years for calculation.
  • Classification by race or ethnicity. When available, the IPLAN Data System presents information by race or ethnicity.
  • Data calculations. The IPLAN Data System performs calculations of percentages or rates when appropriate.
  • U.S. and Healthy People 2010 Objectives. Along with information for selected areas of study and Illinois, the IPLAN Data System displays comparative U.S. data and Healthy People 2010 objectives, when available. "N/A" appears if this information is not available.

Because detailed population estimates at sub-county level are not available for years after 1990, age-adjusted and age-specific rates are not available for many indicators. Crude events and number of events for ages 0-64 years are available.


Indicator Category Descriptions

This section describes the seven categories of available indicators. The categories comprise nearly 100 individual indicators. For detailed indicator descriptions, click Indicator Descriptions.

Most indicators are available at the county level; fewer are available at the community level. Statistics for some of the indicators can be grouped.


Understanding a population's age distribution, race and ethnic composition, and income characteristics is essential to identifying health needs and planning health programs. The demographic and socioeconomic indicators represent important population characteristics that can have related health attributes.

This section provides an overview of health status using general measures of mortality, years of life lost and life expectancy. The indicators in this section could be used, for example, to analyze the problem of premature death in conjunction with a detailed analysis of specific causes. General measures of health care access included in this category also attempt to quantify the availability and use of basic health services and the presence of financial barriers to health care access.



The purpose of the maternal and child health indicators category is to provide an overview of the key components of maternal, infant and child health and the risk factors that contribute to ill health and poor outcomes. In addition to the infant mortality rate, these indicators include important measures of increased risk of death and disability, such as incidence of low birth weight, receipt of prenatal care, and genetic, metabolic and other disorders that contribute significantly to infant deaths and morbidity.

This section provides an overview of mortality, incidence and hospitalization rates for selected chronic diseases that reflect the influence of lifestyle-related risks. The chronic disease indicators also illustrate the prevalence of several risk factors that play an important role in the prevention and management of cardiovascular diseases, cancers, stroke, diabetes and mental health problems.

The purpose of the infectious disease indicators is to present an overview of available information on the incidence of reportable infectious diseases in Illinois and to report the immunization status of Illinois children. Reportable infectious diseases have various causative agents, distribution patterns, modes of transmission, treatments and methods of control. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of infectious disease cases is tremendously under-reported. Nonetheless, surveillance systems are important in detecting both the causative agents and the diseases; these systems are essential components of modern prevention and control strategies.

This category spans a diverse set of indicators related to health factors in the areas of environmental health, occupational safety and health, and injury control.

  • Environmental health. The most difficult challenges for environmental health today come from uncertainties about the toxic and ecological effects of the use of natural and synthetic chemicals, fossil fuels and physical agents in modern society. Environmental indicators are presented in this category as general measures of exposure to potential toxins affecting water, air and soil.
  • Occupational safety and health. Approximately 5.5 million people are employed in Illinois, spending major portions of their days in work environments. Occupational diseases and injuries are presented in this category as general indicators of the need to implement or improve prevention strategies in the workplace.
  • Injury control. Injuries are a leading cause of years of potential life lost in Illinois. Injury control indicators displayed in this category are intended to bring into sharper focus the major causes of intentional and unintentional injury.

Sentinel indicators are presented for health conditions considered preventable or controllable with regular primary care. The occurrence of sentinel events can be interpreted to indicate inadequate access to primary care. In this category, the indicators are presented in two reports:

7.01 Sentinel Events
    Infants (0-1), Hospitalization for dehydration
    Children (0-17), Hospitalization for rheumatic fever
    Children (0-14), Hospitalization for asthma
    Adults (>=18), Tuberculosis
    Adults (>=18), Hospitalization for uncontrolled hypertension

7.02 Sentinel Events - Cancer
    In situ Breast cancer
    Late cervical cancer

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