Ep 133: How Geographic Information Systems Are Being Used to Identify Veteran Suicide Risk

The rate of suicides among our veteran population continues to rise and the number is probably higher than most people realize. The good news is people are leveraging incredible new data to improve support and care for those that need it most. Kevin Driscoll, DNP, MSN, CRNA, is the only CRNA certified in these geographic information systems (GIS) and he joins us today to share his passion for data, how it’s being used to serve veterans, and the other possibilities that could come from GIS.

Click the timestamps below to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

On This Episode:

The past decade has seen an incredible rise in the amount of data being compiled and tracked in every aspect of our life. While some of it feels pretty invasive, there are plenty of people using it to improve the lives of people.

One example of that is Kevin Driscoll, DNP, MSN, CRNA. He’s the president of the NBCRNA and the only CRNA certified in geographic information systems (GIS). He’s now putting this new-found passion into assisting the veteran population around the country and helping those most at risk of suicide.

This is a fascinating conversation because he opens our eyes to the many uses of GIS around the world that we had no idea about. A lot of this deals with the military, which he’s served in most recently after 9/11, and many of the applications will benefit CRNAs and SRNAs in the future. We really enjoyed this episode and think you will as well.

As you get started on the episode, keep an ear out for these topics:

  • The rising number of suicides among veterans.
  • Why the suicide rate is actually higher than the public statistics say.
  • The four primary reasons people are at risk of suicide.
  • Explanation of the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and how it’s utilized.
  • What he’s able to do with this data that isn’t a HIPAA violation.
  • Incredible ways in which data is used in the military.
  • The ways that CRNAs and SRNAs can use this data to provide better care.
  • How he plots the data and how long that process takes.

Check it out the interview at the top of the page and use the timestamps to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

[3:20] – Welcome Kevin!  

[4:32] – Background on Kevin

[9:33] – Who’s at risk for suicide?  

[12:15] – Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

[17:21] – What the data can teach us

[23:16] – Who can access this data?

[25:32] – Using this to help veterans

[29:22] – What else he uses GIS for

[37:38] – How CRNAs & SRNAs can use this data

[42:51] – Process of plotting

[47:11] – Tracking the type of cases CRNAs are working

[51:45] – Final thoughts


“If you really want to be able to utilize this and utilize GIS really well, you need to make sure that you have the most accurate data possible…It’s a grassroots effort to make sure the veracity of that data is really good.”

-Kevin Driscoll, DNP, MSN, CRNA

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