Atlanta, Ga. (Aug. 29, 2013) – After months of extensive research and collaborative meetings, Piedmont Henry Hospital has completed a community health needs assessment and developed implementation plans for the Henry County community.
“What we found was not surprising and is similar for many communities - limited access to healthcare for the uninsured and underinsured, mental health related conditions, and high incidences of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke,” said Holly Lang, director of community benefit at Piedmont Healthcare. “But one size does not fit all. Each community is different as far as prioritizing those needs and where Piedmont can have the most impact by working alongside existing community groups.”
Public health data and collaboration with community leaders, stakeholders and other community representatives allowed Piedmont leadership to determine priority health issues and develop strategies to address them. Criteria used included:
● number of persons affected;
● seriousness of the issue;
● whether the health need particularly affects persons living in poverty or reflects health disparities (gaps in quality care/access to care for populations of people); and
● availability of hospital resources along with community resources to address the need.
Through this process, Piedmont Henry Hospital identified the following four priority issues for the Henry County community.
● Increased access to necessary and appropriate care for uninsured and underinsured patients
● Reduced preventable readmissions and emergency department re-encounters
● Reduced instances of preventable heart disease and stroke
● Reduced rates of teen birth rates and increased access to prenatal care
Over the next three years, Piedmont Henry Hospital will address these issues through a multi-faceted approach and implementation plans which will rely on active participation of a coalition of community resources and leaders. Plans to address these issues include:
● develop an emergency department care coordination program working with relevant community partners such as the Hands of Hope Clinic to target preventable encounters;
● provide support for an expansion of the Hands of Hope Clinic through connectivity of electronic medical records and provision of diagnostics services at no cost to clinic patients;
● create community based partnerships to address underlying mental health needs as well as a resource guide of mental health resources to help community members self-identify potential mental health issues;
● continue to provide financial assistance to qualifying low-income, uninsured patients;
● provide relevant materials into appropriate languages:
● develop a patient care self-management system with careful discharge planning, medication management, and post admission follow-up to ensure continued good health; ● create a program for the hospital to provide health specific information to those who come in contact with members of more vulnerable communities;
● create and regularly convene the Healthy Henry program to foster independent, healthy lifestyles focusing on assessment, nutrition, exercise, and monitoring;
● continue to provide free and reduced-cost prenatal care to qualifying women, including teen mothers;
● form peer support groups for teen moms facilitated by a trained worker who can relate to language and culture differences, and link teen moms to programs addressing socioeconomic barriers, and promotion of activities to overcome those barriers;
● and, much more.
For a complete list of implementation plans and next steps in building a healthier Piedmont Henry Hospital community, visit piedmont.org/PHC/Community-Benefits-HealthNeedsAssessments.aspx.