NWI hospitals need participants for community health survey - December 16, 2015

Courtesy of NWI Times

December 16, 2015 9:00 am • Giles Bruce giles.bruce@nwi.com, (219) 853-2584

The Region’s nonprofit hospitals are looking for more participants for their triennial community health assessment, which determines Northwest Indiana’s greatest health needs.

The assessment consists of interviews with community stakeholders, data analysis and surveys of residents. Northwest Indiana hospitals are about a third of the way to their goal of 2,000 survey responses.

“The results really give us an idea of how we can fill the gaps in the clinical and public-health infrastructures in our communities,” said Kate Hill-Johnson, administrative director of community health improvement for Franciscan Alliance.

As part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, nonprofit hospitals are required to conduct a community health needs assessment at least once every three years, then implement services and programming to meet those needs. The Region’s nonprofit hospital systems — Community Healthcare System, Franciscan Alliance and Methodist Hospitals — decided to team up this time around to avoid duplication.

“We want people to let us know what the top problems are so we can develop programs that are most appropriate to meeting the actual needs of the community,” said Linda Hadley, director of marketing for Methodist Hospitals.

Some examples of how the data are used are increasing access to affordable medication, providing patients with transportation to appointments and holding community health screenings. The health needs identified in the last study included heart disease, mental health and access to care.

The results of the assessment will be released in 2016.