User Comments - Vitalnet

I appreciate the many comments we have received. Our goal is to make Vitalnet fast, flexible, powerful, reliable, easy to use, and easy to understand. Our goal is to benefit users and purchasers. We regularly watch and listen to users, and learn from their experiences and comments.

We care about your health data. If you have positive comments to include on this page, or want to contact us for any reason (requests, questions, suggestions, problems found), please use our feedback form.

Daniel Goldman, MD, MPH
President, EHDP

"Epigram is the most user-friendly software I have ever encountered. To get fast, clear, helpful results, the user needs no special technical skills, just the most basic level of computer literacy. I was able to use it successfully with no instructions or manual and obtain a range of statistics that I needed, broken down in a variety of useful ways".

Ruth Andersen, PhD
Health Program Specialist

"Epigram allowed me to compare mortality data for my county with that of other urban counties in my state within minutes. Before Epigram, data like that would take several weeks to get. Epigram empowered me to understand key epidemiological concepts like age-adjustment. Besides having the data I need within minutes of formulating my question, I was able to see how statistical techniques such as age-adjustment can dramatically change the response. Epigram is so user friendly even a computer neophyte can use it."

Priscilla Boston
Health Planner

"I find Epigram to be an extremely useful tool that I've come to depend on!"

Cheryl Bowcock
Data Analyst

"Epigram is easy to use and provides quick and accurate answers about population and rates."

Jean Brender, RN, PhD

"Epigram is one of the most powerful data analysis tools I have ever encountered. It is a model for how to organize and retrieve variegated and multi-faceted data. To be totally successful, a demographic data analysis program must contain: 1) data that is accurate and authorative, 2) an inquiry procedure that is flexible enough to allow researchers to "tailor-make" their outcomes, and 3) a user interface that is intuitive and doesn't require the researcher to wade through a mass of documentation in order to master the program. Epigram embodies all of these desiderata."

John Burlinson
Library Director

"I have found Epigram to be a very useful tool for retrieving and analysis of death data. It gives quick and accurate results. I would recommend this software system to anyone with a similar need to retrieve and analyze death data."

Leland Carmichael

"Epigram is a powerful tool for very efficiently analyzing mortality data. I have used it in the classroom for student assignments. The students were very impressed, and have gone on to use it for other research and work projects. In fact, one student is currently writing up his class assignment into a manuscript for submission for publication. Epigram is a gift, especially for those of us who remember analyzing mortality data the old labor intensive way."

Sharon Cooper, PhD
Associate Professor of Epidemiology

"I have used Epigram to download information on deaths (numbers and rates) by county, race, age and causes of death for several years. My experience with Epigram is primarily as a user of information. I found Epigram to be flexible, user-friendly, and self-explanatory. It is flexible in providing breakdowns by county, age and race for several years. It allows group and range selections for these variables. It requires minimal training time (5-10 minutes) for a new user. The program runs fast and the response time to a query is acceptable. Since the response time is minimal, it is easy to recreate or rerun queries and therefore does not require saving files. This saves a lot of space on the network. The data is formatted in user-friendly and presentable table form. I found it easy to import the data in ASCII, spreadsheet or database format. This allows for trend or statistical analysis."

Shakuntala Desai, MS

"I used Epigram to analyze pediatric and injury death data in Texas in conjunction with other data I had. The population breakdowns by county and public health region were extremely helpful. I found Epigram fairly easy to use, even for a beginner. A great tool for students."

Tho Bella Dinh-Zarr, MPH

"Epigram is a fast and easy way to retrieve information about Texas population. It has been most helpful when I've needed specific information on ethnicity, age, or sex."

Veronda Durden, MS

"Epigram has been a valuable tool for providing data needed to demonstrate to the community the tragic role that injuries play in reducing productive years of life. It also provides an invaluable tool for developing strategies for injury reduction targeted at groups at risk for various injury types, based on age, ethnicity and sex. Epigram's ease of use and ready availability on the Internet have saved us many hours of time."

Nelson England
Transportation Analyst

"What a tremendous package you've developed! I'm really impressed."

Juli Fellows, PhD
Organizational Consultant

"As a public health nurse and as an epidemiologist, I consider Epigram to be an essential tool for needs assessments, strategy and policy development, targeting intervention strategies, and quality assurance activities. Epigram is a very powerful tool for analyzing our vital statistics mortality data, yet it is unbelievably user-friendly, fast, and dependable. On many occassions, I've taught other staff members to use it in a matter of minutes. There's nothing tricky about it."

Penny Finuf, MSN, RN, CS
Nurse Consultant

"As an RN and professional software developer for 20 years, I am very much impressed by these products, both in the comprehensive vision of the overall design, and in the careful attention to the many details that comprise a high-quality program that is both powerful and easy to use."

Thomas Flood, RN; President
TCF Consulting

"Able to get mortality rates and population quickly and easily. No difficult calculations. Epigram does it for you in a matter of minutes. Many different variables to choose from. Geographic variables, age ranges, race / ethnicity."

Carol Friedman, DO

"Epigram is accessible and easy to use. I do appreciate your efforts in offering technical support to users and maintaining Epigram up to date."

Angela Garzon, MS
PhD Candidate

"My staff handles over 6,000 information requests from the public and health care professionals per year. I'm sure we use Epigram many times a month and find it invaluable."

Kate Hendricks, MD, MPH&TM
Epidemiologist, Administrator

"Epigram is one of the most powerful data analysis tools I have ever encountered. "I've been using Epigram to extract data for several graphs, and I'm very pleased with the ease of use and flexibility of output. It really works like a charm. I appreciate being able to use this program. It's a real time-and-headache saver."

Amy Holmes
Data Analyst

"Congratulations on such a nice program. It is a great time-saver. Puts important demographic and mortality figures at your fingertips."

Michael Kelley, MD
Epidemiologist, Administrator

"The ability to extract population data and import it into other software is the greatest thing since sliced bread. We use it all the time and rely on it."

Sharon King, MA

"Epigram is a very useful tool to use to retrieve data. The user-friendly screen allows one to easily 'program a run' by entering just a few parameters. There is no special knowledge required; the user does not have to be a programmer or computer expert to use this program. Epigram can yield raw numbers and rates for specific geographic areas, ages, ethnic categories, and sex, usually within seconds. It is particularly useful in that data for multiple years can be obtained from one 'run'. There are several built-in categories of ICD-9 codes, enabling the user to obtain data for injury deaths or firearm related deaths, for example, without having to search for all the various ICD-9 codes that apply. I would be reluctant to lose Epigram, and encourage anyone with similar needs to explore this valuable tool."

Brian King

"The web version of Vitalnet is an extraordinary resource for health researchers, policy makers, and other data users. The integration of its basic and advanced analysis features with a fast and intuitive interface make it one of the best tools in its class. "

Eric Lang, PhD
Research Scientist

"I have found Epigram to be both useful and user-friendly - a welcome combination. Epigram is a simple yet powerful tool to summarize vital statistics information. I have found that Epigram is not 'use it or lose it' software; Using it is easy even after a break of several months."

Peter Langlois, PhD

"Epigram puts valuable data right at my fingertips."

Shellie Kolavek, DMD, MPH

I find the Texas VitalWeb Birth Data very useful for my advocacy purposes.

Gretchen Lash
Child Advocate

I became a rockstar in my class -- I was the only one that had actually found accurate data -- believe or not!

Bertil Marje

"As an administrator, I don't directly use Epigram. However, I value this program that makes analysis of population and mortality data easier and more efficient for data analysts and epidemiologists on my staff."

Dora McDonald, MPA

"I have seen Epigram develop from a very good tool into an outstanding tool for accessing mortality and population data. As a programmer, I can attest to the careful, thorough manner in which the software was developed."

John Osborn
Systems Analyst

"Epigram provides me an excellent, handy, reliable source of data for my Medical Geography students. Epigram adds LIFE to my course because students can examine the data underlying any particular cause of mortality with reliable data. It provides an unlimited series of topics for student research papers. No more literature review papers. Students examine real, live disease and mortality problems, thanks to Epigram. As a researcher, I have found Epigram to be an invaluable source of data. I value the reliability and accuracy that Epigram provides, and the flexibility to combine it with other data sources such as Toxic Release Inventory Data. Thanks a million for Epigram. It has made teaching medical geography fun. My students love it."

Joseph Oppong, PhD
University Faculty

"I would give Epigram rave reviews."

Patti Patterson, MD, MPH
Epidemiologist, Administrator

"Epigram is an excellent software to access and analyze mortality data. I often respond to persons who need mortality data on cancer for a specific time period and a specific geographical area of the state. The Epigram software allows me to easily respond to requests, sometimes even while I am on the telephone with them, so that I can give them what they wanted even before they hang up! In fact, since Epigram is available on the Internet, I usually tell the persons I am working with, how they can get an account and access this dataset directly. They are very appreciative of this, and I know that several of them have made great use of Epigram."

David Risser, PhD, MPH

"I don't know how I could have performed my job as injury epidemiologist without Epigram. Half of my duties had me dealing with data requests from the general public, concerned citizens, and media. The other half of my duties involved looking for injury "clusters" across Texas. Epigram is very fast, powerful and flexible."

Michael Skrabanek

"I want to thank you for the Epigram program."

Carl Slater, MD
School of Public Health Faculty

"Having used state department of health data tapes to retrieve data and other sources for population data I am grateful to find these data in one location with a large variety of reliable rates and adjustments for analyzing the data. Epigram is a wonderful tool and an enormous time saver. I have used CDC Wonder and find Epigram much more attuned to my needs."

Bill Spears, PhD
School of Public Health Data Expert

"We appreciate the time and effort taken to develop this program. It has made many people's jobs easier."

Christina Stovall, MSPH

"I have had no problems accessing Epigram, understanding the menus, and creating the analyses I wanted."

Jeffrey Taylor, MPH

"It is apparent a lot of work has been done to make the site accessible to the visually impaired. Rarely have I seen a site that presented some rather difficult material in such a well structured manner."

Robert Wiley
Adapative Technology Supervisor

"I went through the tutorial on Epigram and found it quite easy to understand."

Jessie Yoas, RN
Public Health Nurse

"Epigram is a powerful tool! It makes my work easier. I can respond to legislature inquiries and the general public's inquiries on deaths very fast. It is at my fingertips. We should have had this 20 years ago!"

David Zane
Epidemiologist, Administrator

Note: Epigram is the Vitalnet mortality data system.

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