Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

frequently asked questions

The following questions address some of the most common user questions we receive.

Where did the secure portal go?

Secure access is no longer available for the Iowa Public Health Tracking Portal. However, Birth, Death, Inpatient, and Emergency Department workbooks are available through other means. Please Contact Us to learn more.

How do I cite information from the IDPH Tracking Portal?

The suggested citation for data or information from the Iowa Public Health Tracking Portal in general is:

Iowa Department of Public Health. Iowa Public Health Tracking Portal. https://tracking.idph.iowa.gov/. Retrieved on [date of access].

If you are using data from a specific topic area or report, please use the following citation:

Iowa Department of Public Health. Iowa Public Health Tracking Portal. Title of report or specific page [web address of specific page]. Retrieved on [date of access].

What are metadata?

Metadata are "data about data." Metadata describe the content, quality, and context of a dataset and provide links to additional information such as quality assurance documents and data dictionaries. The IDPH Tracking Portal contains metadata records for datasets used to create Nationally Consistent Data Measures, or NCDMs. These are indicators maintained in a consistent manner by partners in the Environmental Public Health Tracking Network.

What are ICD-9-CM, ICD-10-CM, and ICD-10 Mortality codes?

Cause of Death, Hospital Discharge, and Emergency Department Visit data are classified using ICD diagnosis codes. International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is a system of diagnostic codes for classifying diseases. It is published by the World Health Organization, and used world-wide for morbidity and mortality statistics, and reimbursement systems.

What other data does the Iowa Department of Public Health hold?

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) maintains more than 50 datasets containing various types of health-related information. A listing of publicly available reports is located on the Iowa Public Health Data site. Not all data are available for release to the public and may contain confidential information. To access a list of IDPH datasets, you may send a request through Contact Us.

What is a bite, snack, and meal?

Data on the Iowa Public Health Tracking Portal is intended for multiple audiences, including the general public, policy makers, and local public health partners. Because of multiple audience needs, data are presented as ‘bites’, ‘snacks’, and ‘meals’.

  • Bite: A single quick piece of information.
  • Snack: An easy-to-read graph or chart that may be slightly customizable.
  • Meal: An interactive page that presents data from a single topic area as tables, charts, and maps. Users can filter and select certain options, and modify the tables and charts.

I’m still lost. Who can I contact?

The Iowa Public Health Tracking Team is happy to help! You may Contact Us or call 515-725-2699.

I have a great idea to improve the site! What should I do?

We are always looking for feedback to improve. Please complete the feedback survey, or Contact Us