Spatial Analysis to Locate New Clinics for Diabetic Kidney Patients in the Underserved Communities in Alberta

Nephrology Dialysis TransplantationNephrology Dialysis Transplantation, published online 26 July 2012

Labib Imran Faruque, Bharati Ayyalasomayajula, Rick Pelletier, Scott Klarenbach, Brenda R. Hemmelgarn, and Marcello Tonelli

“Background: Canadians with chronic diseases often live far away from healthcare facilities, which may compromise their level of care. We used a new method for selecting optimal locations for new healthcare facilities in remote regions.

“Methods: We used a provincial laboratory database linked to data from the provincial health ministry. From all patients with serum creatinine measured at least once between 2002 and 2008 in Alberta, Canada, we selected those with diabetes and an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) of 15–60 mL/min/1.73 m2. We then used two methods to select potential locations for new clinics that would serve the greatest number of remote-dwelling patients: plots showing the unadjusted density of such patients per 100 km2 and SatScan analysis presenting the prevalent clusters of patients on the basis of chronic kidney disease (CKD) rates (adjusted for population size).

“Results: We studied 32 278 patients with concomitant diabetes and CKD. A substantial number of patients (8%) resided >200 km from existing nephrologists’ clinics. Density plots mapped with ArcGIS were useful for localizing a large cluster of underserved patients. However, objective assessment with SatScan technique and ArcGIS permitted us to detect additional clusters of patients in the northwest and southeast regions of Alberta—and suggested potential locations for new clinics in these areas.

“Conclusions: Objective techniques such as SatScan can identify clusters of underserved patients with CKD and identify potential new facility locations for consideration by decision-makers. Our findings may also be applicable to patients with other chronic diseases.”

New Book Makes the Case for Using GIS in Government

Measuring Up: The Business Case for GIS, Volume 2Measuring Up: The Business Case for GIS, Volume 2, provides a collection of real-world stories from local government agencies that have used GIS technology to achieve success. Chapters focus on how implementing automated GIS workflow and resource management solutions helps organizations save time and money, increase accuracy and efficiency, and maximize productivity and revenue. Lead author Christopher Thomas is director of government marketing for Esri.

The articles in this collection illustrate how GIS is used to implement new, more efficient business processes and how these emerging practices have improved communities and organizations. The case studies show how investing in GIS provides a common language for discussion that brings stakeholders together in the decision-making process. Many of the included organizations are realizing a quantifiable return on investment by integrating GIS into their information systems.

In the book’s foreword, Esri president Jack Dangermond writes, “Measuring Up provides insight into the innovation that comes from looking at problems spatially and the value GIS brings to improving efficiencies, decision making, planning, communication, and collaboration while creating transparency. In essence, the book shows the role GIS plays in supporting a government that is more accountable to the world we impact and the citizens we serve.”

Measuring Up: The Business Case for GIS, Volume 2 (ISBN: 978-1-58948-310-1, 128 pages, US$19.95) is available at online retailers worldwide, at, or by calling 1-800-447-9778. Outside the United States, visit for complete ordering options, or visit to contact your local Esri distributor. Interested retailers can contact Esri Press book distributor Ingram Publisher Services.

[Source: Esri press release]