The patent pending Vizient® Vulnerability Index™ identifies social needs and obstacles to care in neighborhoods that may influence a person's overall health

The information in the Vizient Vulnerability Index file allows users to support Social Drivers of Health at the neighborhood level. The downloadable file provides nine domains of social needs (shown to the right) and the overall vulnerability index for each census tract and ZIP code across the United States of America. Any score >1 is considered an area of “high vulnerability”. These are neighborhoods that experience specific obstacles to care greater than one standard deviation above the national mean.

Unlike other indices, the Vizient Vulnerability Index flexes to ensure the index values are location-appropriate. Other indices have a single index algorithm for the whole country, while the Vizient Vulnerability Index adapts to the local relevance of each domain as it correlates to life expectancy. This allows for variation in the weighting of the domains across different geographic areas depending on what’s important – the most relevant factors affecting health in Lincoln, Nebraska might not be the most relevant in New York City.

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The heat map below displays the overall Vizient Vulnerability Index values for neighborhoods across the nation with Chicago highlighted as an example. Within the broad regional variation shown in the map there is local variability from neighborhood to neighborhood.

Figure 1. Vizient Vulnerability Index values for neighborhoods across the nation.

Vizient Vulnerability Index values for neighborhoods across the nation

Nine Domains of Vulnerability

Patent Pending | Copyright Vizient, Inc. 2022. All rights reserved | EPA = United States Environmental Protection Agency; HUD = United States Department of Housing and Urban Development; USDA = United States Department of Agriculture.

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External Data Sources

  1. United State Census Bureau's 2020 American Community Survey (ACS), which includes 5-year estimates averaging 2016-2020 survey data at the census tract code level
  2. United States Department of Agriculture "food desert" measure of low-income population beyond a ½ mile (urban) or a mile (rural) from a grocery store.
  3. United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data on air and water pollution from the environmental justice screen data set and the safe drinking water information system (SDWIS)
  4. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) "severe housing cost" measure of housing cost burden over 50% of income from the comprehensive housing affordability strategy data (CHAS)
  5. FBI uniform crime reporting
  6. Gun Violence Archive
  7. The Opportunity Atlas for incarceration data
  8. Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  9. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network for Park Access
  10. United States Small Area Life Expectancy Estimates Project
  11. CDC United States Opioid Dispensing Rate Maps
  12. Health Resources and Services Administration data for Provider Shortages
  13. Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics Consortium for tree cover data
  14. Voting Data: Harvard Dataverse: Voting and Election Science Team, 2020, "2020 Precinct-Level Election Results",, Harvard Dataverse, V40