The visit rates represent the average number of visits per person per year to each of the various services listed. Because this is an average, it means that some people may have had many visits while others have had few or none. Averages are represented by the yellow dashed line. The size of the bar represents the visit rate, and the colour represents the relative difference from the provincial average.
As mentioned above, two levels of geography are presented: (1) Peer Groups, which group similar communities by likeness, travel patterns, shared services and rural-urban classification, and the more detailed (2) Local Geographic Areas, which are often used for reporting, monitoring, surveillance, and health service planning.
When comparing visit rates, keep in mind that services may be substituted with each other. For this reason, we have included a combined visit rate that adds together all visit types.
How do I interpret this dashboard?
This dashboard compares the average number of visits per person per year to different services across the province. For example, a service rate of 3.6 means that on average each person in that geographic area has 3.6 visits to that service. Of course, some people will have had zero visits while others had many more.
Why are the visits to a specific service in a particular geography high or low?
Visits may be higher or lower in a particular area due to availability of the service or substitution of services. It is common to see an area with a lower visit rate for one service, but a higher visit rate for another service. For example, an area with fewer specialist visits may see increased emergency visits and hospital admissions.
Should the visit rates be the same for all geographies?
No. We would never expect all the visit rates to be the same across the province. We would expect environmental factors to influence how and where services are delivered. We would expect geographies with similar environmental factors to have comparable visit rates. How services are delivered in each area is constantly being monitored and re-evaluated in order to meet the needs of Albertans.