Community Health Network unveiled a new community health needs assessment tool last week that includes over 100 nationally recognized measurements rating the overall health status of Hamilton, Hancock, Johnson, Marion, Morgan and Shelby County residents.
The health needs assessment, available to the public oneCommunity.com, uses data compiled from governmental and non-governmental agencies and is automatically updated as the most recent data becomes available. The assessment is divided into categories derived from the social determinants of health, including economy, education, environment, government and politics, public safety, social environment, and transportation. Each indicator is scientifically rated and accompanied with a colored gauge, with a needle showing how well Marion and surrounding counties are doing compared to other counties nationally. It also rates the county’s progress toward the national standards of health and wellness established by the Centers for Disease Control’s Healthy People 2020 initiative. Examples of indicators include adults with health insurance, infant mortality rate and adults who smoke.
“Our community health needs assessment is a developmental process that will be added to and amended over time,” said Dan Hodgkins, vice president of community benefit and economic development at Community Health Network. “It’s not an end in itself, but a way of using information to plan our healthcare and health outreach in the future. This health needs assessment tool will enable our organization to ensure that resources are allocated to where they can give the maximum health benefit.” Hodgkins went on to say, “We will work collaboratively with the community, other professionals, and agencies to determine which health issues cause greatest concern and plan interventions to address those issues.”
Community Health Network is the first hospital system in the state to partner with the California-based Healthy Communities Institute (HCI) to create the database for public access from the health network’s website. HCI has overseen the creation, development and evaluation of clinical and patient-centered information systems implemented in over 500 hospitals and healthcare institutions across the country.