Local health care organizations work together on survey to assess health needs and concerns
Aug 23, 2016 | 5622 views | 0 0 comments | 237 237 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Eight hundred residents from throughout San Juan County are being asked to participate in a critically important survey that will help determine the healthcare needs and concerns in their communities.

These residents have been randomly selected from the five major population areas in southern and central San Juan County: Blanding, Monticello, Montezuma Creek, Bluff and Monument Valley. They will receive a six-page survey in the mail during the month of August.

Many may have already received their survey. All who receive these surveys are asked to return the completed survey in the envelope provided by September 23.

Those who return the completed survey, along with the raffle ticket included with the survey, have an opportunity to win one of three valuable gift cards ($150, $100 or $50) if their raffle ticket is drawn.

Blue Mountain Hospital (BMH), Utah Navajo Health System, Inc. (UNHS), and San Juan Health Services are working together to determine the health care needs and concerns of the county, through this Community Health Needs Assessment survey (CHNA).

According to Jimmy Johnson, Chief Financial Officer for Blue Mountain Hospital, all not-for-profit organizations must complete this CHNA survey every three years by mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The survey is prepared by the National Rural Health Resource Center (NRHRC), in Duluth, MN, an independent third-party agency that also distributes the survey, analyzes the results and makes recommendations to the organizations involved.

“The survey is an evaluation of what services you offer in your community, what services may be going to other areas and how you as an organization are trying to meet their needs,” Johnson said.

“Once they analyze the surveys, they might come back and say, ‘we have identified that the community would really love to have better communication on disease prevalence within the county,’ as an example. Then they come back and say we want you to rank and prioritize those items and develop an action plan.”

Johnson explained there are four parts to the CHNA process. First, NRHRC sends out the six-page survey that will go to over 800 boxes in San Juan County.

The survey includes questions like: what clinic do you use, what services would you like to have, what are barriers that you may face to receiving health care, if you could change anything about health care in San Juan County what would it be?

Johnson noted that because all three organizations have to facilitate this survey every three years, and it’s really about community, it’s a good opportunity for BMH to partner with UNHS and San Juan Health Services.

“We’ve combined forces to do one combined community health needs assessment. So instead of focusing on San Juan Health Services and their patient population, we’re looking at it as a county-wide approach,” Johnson added.

In addition to the survey, NRHRC will do a secondary data analysis. It will take claims data from all individuals that have a zip code in San Juan County, primarily from Monticello, Blanding, Montezuma Creek, Monument Valley and Bluff, and look at where these individuals are getting their health care, and why, and how.

Johnson said this process might discover, for example, that all urology patients have to leave the county. That might indicate that the three organizations should combine forces and hire one urologist together.

“Perhaps we will discover some untapped need that we can meet jointly or individually,” he said.

In addition to the survey, the National Rural Health Resource Center will be coming to San Juan County to conduct four focus groups in Monticello, Blanding, Montezuma Creek and one other location.

During these focus groups, they will try to get ideas from local residents about their health care concerns. These focus groups will be set up after all the surveys have been returned and analyzed.

NRHRC also functions as an independent mediator and facilitator to bring BMH, UNHS and San Juan Health Services together, after they’ve sent out the survey, done the secondary data analysis and conducted the four focus groups.

It will work with the three organizations to try and establish a plan based on what their health priorities are and how they might work together to facilitate those priorities.

Blue Mountain Hospital, UNHS and San Juan Health Services encourage all county residents who receive one of these surveys to complete the survey and return it to the National Rural Health Resource Center as soon as possible, or at least by the September 23 deadline. No postage is needed if you use the envelope included with the survey.

Also, remember to send in one of the raffle tickets with the survey. Keep the second raffle ticket for when the three winners are announced the week of October 3. You might win a gift card worth $150, $100 or $50 if your ticket is chosen.

Please remember, the purpose of this CHNA survey is to obtain information from a wide range of participants to assist Blue Mountain Hospital, UNHS and San Juan Health Services in planning health care programs, services, and facilities to best serve all residents of San Juan County in the future. Your help is critical in this effort.

“We’re trying to work together for the good of the health care of all citizens of San Juan County,” Johnson added. “We want to collaborate and try to fill those gaps and voids in health care that we may not be able to do individually, but maybe we could do collectively.”
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