NORTHWEST INDIANA HOSPITALS UPDATE COMMUNITY HEALTH NEEDS ASSESSMENT - December 8, 2015
It’s been three years since the area’s not-for-profit hospitals took the pulse of the community with a survey on health needs. It is time for a check-up.
The three major health systems – Community Healthcare System, Methodist Hospitals and Franciscan Alliance – are working together once again to conduct a study to better understand the healthcare needs of the communities they serve. This process will involve a survey of area residents, focus group interviews with key community representatives and an analysis of secondary health data. The study will be used by the hospitals to identify opportunities for further collaboration to improve the health of the community.
Surveys were e-mailed in mid-October to residents in Lake, Porter and Newton counties in Indiana and a portion of Cook County in Illinois. The health needs assessment survey will contain questions regarding a resident’s personal experience with health providers as well as solicit input on areas for improvement.
The findings of the health needs assessment will be presented to focus groups of key community representatives to garner additional insight, prioritize needs and identify partners who can help bring about change. The focus groups are expected to be completed in January, 2016.
The first community health needs assessment conducted in 2012 indicated infant mortality, obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and access to care were among the top health concerns in the region. The region’s three hospital systems have used the findings of the study to work outside the walls of the hospital to bring about health improvements. This new survey will serve to measure progress and identify ongoing challenges.
The 2012 survey results are available to the public on the websites of all the hospitals participating in this initiative: Community Hospital in Munster; St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago; St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart; Methodist Hospitals in Gary and Merrillville; Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point, Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Dyer, Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Hammond, and Franciscan Healthcare-Munster. The results of the 2016 survey will also be published on the websites of all the hospitals.
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