January 17, 2013

Communities well represented in health survey

Communities well represented in health survey

By ALLAN TINKER
It was a “hospital focus group” that was enjoying itself with the immediate target of their attention: the meal. A noon-scheduled group to gain information into health needs and other health related information for required federal regulations had been given a meal to remember: lasagna, fruit salad, veggie, and when you thought it was good and over, there was shortcake dessert! The meal was prepared and served by Margie Fiedler, using her own recipe for lasagna.
The organizer of the event was Melana Howe of Howe Enterprises, a healthcare consulting firm from Hettinger, ND. This event had been preceded and supplemented by mailed surveys, surveys available in many of the health care outlets in the community, ads in the local paper and other venues, and word of mouth.
“Over 3,000 survey questionnaires were mailed out to selected areas of the communities for a health needs assessment for Community Memorial Health,” said Howe. This is part of a newly implemented regulation that affects funding and other services and will be done every three years.
The mailed form included questions asking respondents whether they were aware of services available at Community Memorial or at other facilities. The confidential replies were to be used to determine gaps in needed services, awareness of services, and preferences of those using these services, or why they did not use them.
The surveys were due back by January 15, in order for the responses to become part of the tabulations.


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