Cavalier County Memorial Hospital and Clinics (CCMH) is going to be starting an initiative to better their services by customizing it to what the public needs.
Posted on 4/9/16
By Melissa Anderson
In order to accomplish this, CCMH will be conducting a Community Health Needs Assessment starting April 15 through May 15.
“The Community Health Needs Assessment is CCMH’s opportunity to evaluate the wants, desires, and needs of the communities that we serve,” Chris Wyatt, the Chief Executive Officer at CCMH, said.
The goal of the Community Health Needs Assessment is to have CCMH become a part of the community through the continuum of care rather than focusing only on the acute events.
“In the past, hospitals were here to only treat acute illness,” Wyatt said, “Now, we are adverting more attention to the wellness of our communities to improve the lives of all in an effort to mitigate the multitude of chronic conditions that our patients face.”
The survey will address basic demographic information. It will ask the individual about services that they have utilized at CCMH or at another location. It will also ask basic health care questions of the individual so that CCMH can identify possible areas of deficiency in their service offerings.
“CCMH desires to address those areas to save our communities time in having to drive to other locations to receive their services due to our lack of offerings,” Wyatt stated.
By providing input, the community is given the opportunity to affect the type of care that is delivered by CCMH. Wyatt explained this concept by using the old saying “We don’t know what we don’t know” as being very true.
“Even though we are a small community which makes word-of-mouth a very valuable tool, most decisions and changes are not made because there is not enough people speaking up to show the need,” Wyatt said.
For this reason, the Community Health Needs Assessment is an invaluable tool to help those leaders involved in the community wellness.
“This survey will give our leaders valuable information on what services our community is utilizing and those that would make life easier such as reducing travel to other facilities for services not offered here,”
If helping to improve the care and services provided by CCMH to its patients wasn’t enough of an incentive, there is also the chance to win some pretty fabulous prizes just by submitting the survey.
“We are offering great prizes this year: first prize is a 40 inch TV, second prize is $200 Langdon Bucks, third prize is a Fit Bit,” Wyatt said.
Wyatt noted that the first place prize of the 40 inch TV can only be entered for by completing an online survey. The second prize of $200 Langdon Bucks and third place prize of a FitBit can be won through all survey types.
While winning a prize for sharing your thoughts is nice, the benefit that the input can have on the community is the main goal of CCMH in doing the Community Health Needs Assessment. It is also for the continuation of providing much needed health care services.
“This is solely for the benefit of the community. CCMH is dedicated to being part of the community for years to come and going to the source for information is the best option,” Wyatt explained.
This is not the first time that CCMH has reached out for input from the community, however. Previously, CCMH mailed surveys but only received about five percent of those surveys back.
“Due to the very low response rate the last time these were mailed to people at their homes, we will be trying a different approach this time,”Wyatt said.
The surveys will be sent home with some of the local area school students from schools that have agreed to assist, left at local area businesses, and CCMH will have an online function available. CCMH will be running radio and newspaper ads with all the information as well.
“The complete list of pick-up and drop-off locations will be advertised on the radio, newspaper, and by fliers throughout town,” Wyatt stated.
As for the services offered, CCMH has a wide variety that patients can utilize minimizing the need to go out of town. With the help of the survey results, the hope is to also discover what the community is aware of that CCMH can offer.
“We have more services available than I’m sure many individuals even realize that they can obtain in Langdon. By identifying those areas, we can better inform the public of those opportunities,” Wyatt said.
One aspect of having such a wide variety of health services offered locally that many members of the community are probably unaware of is the effect it can have on their insurance.
“Insurance providers have in-network (I.N.) and out-of-network (O.O.N.) benefit coverage that is based on the mileage from their home to the nearest provider that offers that service,” Wyatt explained.
An example Wyatt used was that I.N. benefits for Blue Cross Blue Shield may say the radius is 40 miles from the patient’s home. If those desired services are offered at CCMH and the patient goes somewhere else to receive care, those costs to the patient will be more expensive than receiving the same care locally.
In addition, the money spent applies to the O.O.N. benefits separately from the I.N. benefits. For a patient that has a $2,000 I.N. deductible and a $3,000 O.O.N. deductible, the patient could end up spending $5,000 rather than the $2,000 to meet the deductible.
“With this being said, insurance coverage can be very confusing for individuals that don’t think about it on a daily basis,” Wyatt said, “We want to help keep money in the pockets of our community members.”
As Cavalier County Memorial Hospital and Clinics strives to continually improve their services to the community, it is their goal to provide new services for patients as the need arises and the resources become available. Responding to the Community Health Needs Assessment survey is one way that the communities they serve can help them continue to provide the best and most needed services.