GIS and health care

Annu Rev Public Health. 2003;24:25-42. doi: 10.1146/annurev.publhealth.24.012902.141012. Epub 2002 Oct 23.


GIS and related spatial analysis methods provide a set of tools for describing and understanding the changing spatial organization of health care, for examining its relationship to health outcomes and access, and for exploring how the delivery of health care can be improved. This review discusses recent literature on GIS and health care. It considers the use of GIS in analyzing health care need, access, and utilization; in planning and evaluating service locations; and in spatial decision support for health care delivery. The adoption of GIS by health care researchers and policy-makers will depend on access to integrated spatial data on health services utilization and outcomes and data that cut across human service systems. We also need to understand better the spatial behaviors of health care providers and consumers in the rapidly changing health care landscape and how geographic information affects these dynamic relationships.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bioterrorism
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Geographic Information Systems*
  • Health Planning*
  • Health Services / supply & distribution
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Public Health Informatics*
  • United States