Community Health Needs Assessment

Project Overview

Project Goals

This Community Health Needs Assessment – a follow-up to similar studies conducted in 1996, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, and 2012 – is a systematic, data-driven approach to determining the health status, behaviors, and needs of residents in the service area of Columbus Regional Hospital. Subsequently, this information may be used to inform decisions and guide efforts to improve community health and wellness.

A Community Health Needs Assessment provides information so that communities may identify issues of greatest concern and decide to commit resources to those areas, thereby making the greatest possible impact on community health status. This Community Health Needs Assessment will serve as a tool toward reaching three basic goals:

  • To improve residents’ health status, increase their life spans, and elevate their overall quality of life. A healthy community is not only one where its residents suffer little from physical and mental illness, but also one where its residents enjoy a high quality of life.
  • To reduce the health disparities among residents. By gathering demographic information along with health status and behavior data, it will be possible to identify population segments that are most at-risk for various diseases and injuries. Intervention plans aimed at targeting these individuals may then be developed to combat some of the socio-economic factors which have historically had a negative impact on residents’ health.
  • To increase accessibility to preventive services for all community residents. More accessible preventive services will prove beneficial in accomplishing the first goal (improving health status, increasing life spans, and elevating the quality of life), as well as lowering the costs associated with caring for late-stage diseases resulting from a lack of preventive care.

This assessment was conducted on behalf of Columbus Regional Hospital by Professional Research Consultants, Inc. (PRC). PRC is a nationally recognized healthcare consulting firm with extensive experience conducting Community Health Needs Assessments such as this in hundreds of communities across the United States since 1994.

Methodology

This assessment incorporates data from both quantitative and qualitative sources. Quantitative data input includes primary research (the PRC Community Health Survey) and secondary research (vital statistics and other existing health-related data); these quantitative components allow for trending and comparison to benchmark data at the state and national levels. Qualitative data input includes primary research gathered through an Online Key Informant Survey.

PRC Community Health Survey

Survey Instrument

The survey instrument used for this study is based largely on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), as well as various other public health surveys and customized questions addressing gaps in indicator data relative to health promotion and disease prevention objectives and other recognized health issues. The final survey instrument was developed by the Columbus Regional Hospital and PRC and is similar to the previous surveys used in the region, allowing for data trending.

Community Defined for This Assessment

The study area for the survey effort (referred to as the “Columbus Regional Hospital Service Area” or “CRH Service Area” in this report) includes each of the residential ZIP Codes primarily associated with Bartholomew County, Indiana, as well as ZIP Codes 47274 in Jackson County and 47265 in Jennings County. This community definition, based on the ZIP Codes of residence of recent patients of the hospital, is illustrated in the following map.

coverage area map