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The Joint Commission


AMMC Launches Comprehensive Study

Shay Willis April 18, 2013

Arkansas Methodist Medical Center, with collaboration from other local health professionals and stakeholders, is working on a road map to health for the people of Greene County, identifying public health needs, goals, objectives and priorities. The medical center has launched a comprehensive Community Health Needs Assessment, which will provide the foundation for improving and promoting the health of each community member.

A Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) is a systematic collection, assembly, analysis, and dissemination of information about the health of the community. Its role is to identify factors that affect the health of a population and determine the availability of resources with the community to adequately address those factors.

CHNAs are required for not-for-profit medical centers as part of health care reform legislation. The assessment is expected to be finalized by the end of April.  A report of the results will be presented to the community.

 “Guided by the results of this important community needs assessment, we can have a more complete understanding of the health needs of this community which will help us focus our resources on how to improve health,” said Barry Davis, President/CEO of Arkansas Methodist Medical Center.

Arkansas Methodist Medical Center’s CHNA will use both existing and new data to assess local health needs and recommend possible improvement methods. Some of the data has already been collected through previous local, state and federal public health organizations. Arkansas Methodist Medical Center is partnering with Stratasan, a healthcare data analytics company, to collect, quantify, and interpret the data.

Community stakeholders and leaders will be asked what they think about various aspects of their local community health and ideas for improvement in interviews. That insight, along with the data, will be used to set priorities for local public health.

“The interviews will be looking at what the concerns are as seen through the eyes of the residents of Greene County,” said Barry Davis, President/CEO of Arkansas Methodist Medical Center.

The information and data is being gathered by Stratasan to ensure confidentiality and rigor regarding the data analysis. The results will be shared with Arkansas Methodist’s board of directors and administration to help them develop and refine the hospital’s programs and services to ensure they target the community's healthcare needs.

Once the data and interviews are complete, a community health summit will be scheduled.

“Our community assessment is not meant to produce a document that gets shoved onto a shelf to gather dust,” Davis said. “It is meant to create the foundation of an action plan to help us truly improve the lives of the people in our community.”