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Frequently Asked Questions

Help! I don't understand NJSHAD. Where do I begin?
Start with the overview About NJSHAD to get an overall understanding of what NJSHAD is and how you can use it to get the data you need. That page also has links to more detailed overviews About Community Profiles, About Indicator Reports, and About Dataset Queries.

Where can I get the number of births or deaths for a specific county or town in NJ?
The NJSHAD query system allows users to create customized tables of state, county, and municipality data. When you're on a Query Builder page, select the Step that says "geographic area of residence" and follow the instructions.

Where can I get a copy of a birth, death, or marriage certificate?
Individual certificates are available from the Office of Vital Statistics and Registry.

Where can I find data about hospitals and other facilities?
For Patient Safety Reporting, Hospital Report Card, Healthcare Associated Infections, and other data at the hospital level, visit the Office of Health Care Quality Assessment website. For info on other types of facilities, go to Health Systems.

I think there's a cancer cluster in my community. Who can help me?
Anyone concerned about too much cancer in their workplace, school, neighborhood or town should contact the Cancer Surveillance Unit.

Where can I find data and information about services available for disabilities and Medicaid?
These programs are all located in the NJ Department of Human Services.
When will the next year of data be posted?
Data are posted to the query system within a few days of it being sent to the NJSHAD team. New data files are usually received about a year after the previous data year was posted online.

I'm doing a Community Health Assessment and I need to know...
What are the leading causes of morbidity in NJ, my county, and my town?
What are the top health issues facing people in NJ, a certain county, or a particular town?

Unfortunately, we don't have an answer for that. Morbidity (the prevalence or incidence of a disease or condition) data are not available for all diseases, so there is no easy way to rank them. Additionally, there is no standard definition of what conditions should be included when ranking morbidity, like there is for mortality. In other words, is it only life-threatening conditions or do we include mild and moderate conditions?

Top health issues present a similar problem. There is no standard definition. Are you only considering diagnosable conditions or are you also considering things like lack of health insurance coverage, access to primary care doctors, or the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables in the area?

For these types of questions, you may be able to get some guidance from the county or local health department or a community organization engaged in health improvement practices in that area. Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIPs), which identify priority public health issues and strategies to address these complex and persistent challenges, are required for all 21 counties and some large municipalities. Your area's CHIP may provide the answers you need.

If you already have particular health conditions or issues in mind (e.g., obesity, smoking prevalence) and you now need data, our Community Health Assessment Data Sources page provides links to available data.
What are the leading causes of death in New Jersey?
The most current ranking can be found in the Leading Causes of Death Indicator Report. Leading causes of death nationwide are provided by the National Center for Health Statistics.

Where can I find disease incidence and prevalence data?
The NJSHAD query system contains contains communicable disease data and allows users to create customized tables of disease counts and rates. Only diseases reportable to the NJDOH Communicable Disease Service and STD Program are included.

State law requires that certain diseases, such as cancer and over 50 communicable diseases, be reported to NJDOH. However, most diseases and conditions (e.g., heart disease, diabetes) do not have to be reported. Datasets for reportable diseases are maintained by the office that has programmatic responsibility for that particular topic. Estimates of the incidence or prevalence of non-reportable diseases and conditions are sometimes available from the office that has programmatic responsibility for that particular topic.

Cancer Epidemiology Services has their own Web-based data query system for cancer data which displays data tables, graphs, and maps of cancer incidence and mortality rates.

Where can I find population estimates, per capita personal income, and unemployment data?
The State Data Center, located in the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development, maintains these data. The US Census Bureau's website also has numerous tools for accessing this type of data.

I'm a researcher. I need a dataset I can slice and dice myself.
If you need data beyond what is offered in the NJSHAD query system, visit NJDOH's Institutional Review Board for more information.

Operating Systems and Browsers

NJSHAD was developed for desktop using Windows 7 and Google Chrome. Other operating systems and browsers may not render pages properly. Most notably, Internet Explorer will not show pages or run queries properly. Make sure your browser version is up to date. More info...
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site (https://nj.gov/health/shad). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sun, 15 September 2019 12:53:10 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: https://nj.gov/health/shad ".

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