Grayson County hospital Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center is asking the public for input in making the community a healthier place.
Per the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA), nonprofit, tax-exempt hospitals, such as Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center (TLRMC), are required to assess the healthcare needs of their communities every three years and to adopt an implementation strategy to address the needs identified.
For TLMRC, this means conducting a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), which will assess the healthcare needs of Grayson County, and adopt a Strategic Implementation Plan that includes how the needs identified in the assessment will be met.
The first step in developing the CNHA is to hold a community health survey, which, according to TLRMC Director of Planning and Marketing Bill Oldham, is the most important part of the project.
“Along with our community health partners, we use the results of the CHNA to set our priorities for the next three years, so the more input we receive the better,” Oldham said. “We want to hear from people of different ages and all different income levels. Everyone’s information and opinions are important to the process.”
To encourage people to take the survey, TLRMC is giving people the opportunity to enter to win $50 in Chamber Bucks to be awarded from a random drawing.
There are two ways to take the survey. Participants can visit www.tlrmc.com and click on an online version of the survey, or printed copies are available for people without access to the internet. These paper versions will be available at the Information Desk in the TLRMC front lobby, Caneyville Family Clinic, Big Clifty Medical Complex, and the Grayson County Health Department.
The deadline to complete the survey is Friday, Oct. 30.
The survey consists of several health-related questions and, on average, takes fewer than 10 minutes to complete. The results are confidential, and the survey is anonymous unless participants enter to win the drawing for the $50 in Chamber Bucks.
“No names are collected for future use, and, once the survey is completed, we shred the copies,” Oldham said.
Most questions are multiple choice; although there are several open-ended questions that allow participants to give their opinion about topics involving the hospital and the community. The questions fall into three primary categories: demographics, personal health information, and perceived health needs of the community.
The survey results will be compiled and supplemented with health statistics and demographic information later this year and early next year. TLRMC will then invite representatives of the community to review the survey results and provide recommendations on the hospital’s community health focus for 2016-2018.
In 2013, based on the input of the community group, the size and severity of the needs identified in the survey, available data, and the ability to have an impact as a hospital, obesity (children and adults), smoking, access to care, and the number of people over 50 reporting never having had a colonoscopy were identified as the top community health priorities.
The Population Health Committee was developed as a result of the previous process. Consisting of representatives from TLRMC, Grayson County Schools, local industries, the Health Department, the Kentucky Cancer Program, and more, this committee is focused on making good health easier to obtain for area residents.
“Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center recognizes that we do not have adequate resources to solve all of the problems identified,” TLRMC Chief Executive Officer Wayne Meriwether, MHA, said. “However, we do have the obligation and ability to be the change leader where possible. We view this plan as providing guidance around how we, along with other area organizations, groups, and agencies, can collaborate to improve the health and medical care available to the people of our community.”
Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.