One of the requirements of the Affordable Care Act is that not for profit hospitals conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) every three years. GVMH last published a CHNA in 2014 and we are working to finalize our updated plan.
The purpose of the CHNA is to gain a better understanding of perceived health needs in the community and to increase collaboration between community medical providers. Although GVMH is not required to conduct a CHNA due to our governmental status, we do believe there’s value in getting feedback from the community we serve regarding the health needs they feel need to be addressed. There’s also value in collaboration and both Compass Health and the Henry County Health Center partnered with GVMH to complete the assessment.
The first step of the process is to pull together demographic and health data for the area GVMH primarily serves. Henry and Benton County were included in the report. Here’s a small sample of the data: the population has remained relatively flat for the area over the past three years. State health rankings for health outcomes, length of life, quality of life and healthy behaviors are all below the Missouri rural norm. Access to care and quality of care are above the Missouri rural norm.
The second step of the process is to conduct an online community survey. The survey was conducted in October 2016 and community participation in the survey was very good. The survey process identified drug abuse, obesity and smoking as the three greatest community health concerns in our service area.
On November 1, 2016, a Town Hall meeting was held to take a closer look at the health data and to gain a better understanding of the survey results. The Town Hall meeting was open to the public and a good cross section of the public attended the meeting. The most important aspect of the meeting was to gain better understanding and prioritize health needs that were identified through the survey process.
The following priorities were identified at the Town Hall meeting:
- Economic Development
- Drug Abuse
- Emergency/Urgent Care
- Healthcare Transportation
- Awareness of Mental Health Services
- Services for Autistic Children
The final step of the process is to create three year implementation plans to address the needs identified at the Town Hall. Last Friday, GVMH, Compass Health, Henry County Health Center, City Officials, Clinton School District Administration and local law enforcement met to begin working on the development of implementation plans. The process allowed us to identify parties who are primarily responsible for each plan priority and to identify partners or collaborators who will provide assistance in addressing the concern.
The final step of the process will be to complete implementation plans, identify cost to implement and then create a timeline. Once the implementation plans are complete they will be approved by the governing boards of the three main collaborators, GVMH, Compass Health and the Henry County Health Center. Following approval the entire plan will posted on GVMH’s and Compass Health’s websites for public viewing.
The CHNA process is valuable in helping to identify perceived community health needs and its valuable in initiating discussions between local health care providers. It was great to see such a diverse group assemble last week to address community health concerns. Once the CHNA is posted to the website I will put a reminder on the blog to encourage you to take a look.
Its a big process but it provides big value to the communities we serve.