Wasatch County And IHC Conducting Community Health Needs Assessment
Wasatch County Health Department is a few months away from completing a Community Health Needs Assessment. The project is done in collaboration with Intermountain Healthcare.
Wasatch County Health Department PIO Chris Smoot explains what that the Community Health Needs Assessment is.
“We like to know what’s going on in our community. The main health concerns of the community based on a variety of factors. This we're basing not just on opinion of people but also what the statistics are telling us as far as reasons for visits to the doctor, the measurables of health data. A few years ago, we wanted to do a health assessment and it so happened that Intermountain Healthcare was also starting a process of doing a community health assessment. On the macro level the larger level the Utah Department of Health teamed up with Intermountain to help work on collecting data and processing that and identifying health concerns. Here locally we have tagged onto that and have worked with Intermountain Healthcare. Specifically, with Heber Valley Hospital to get that data for our community.”
The original assessment was completed in 2016. The second iteration is expected to be completed at the end of this year or the beginning of 2020.
The Health Department doesn’t conduct any surveys themselves, but the assessment combines state and national survey data with Intermountain Healthcare’s data.
“We can combine both of those data sources and get a really good comprehensive picture. The one struggle we have with these established surveys that the state and federal government does is that it's often delayed a few years. Whereas the data from Intermountain is a little more real time. So, they complement each other and help give us a better picture of just what the health status is and what maybe are the main health issues facing our community at the time.”
Although the report is not yet finished, Smoot says they might expect to see similar things from the last assessment. Community health concerns for Wasatch County identified in the 2016 assessment were prediabetes, high blood pressure, depression and prescription opioid misuse.
“We appreciate Intermountain Healthcare's partnership as well as with the Utah Department of Health. This data really helps us focus our efforts at the local level. We want to focus our resources and efforts on those areas that will be truly beneficial and that are at the most need so we can make the biggest impact in our communities. We are grateful for this chance to combine forces and come out with a better product than I think any one of us could do on our own. It really does hopefully benefit our community by focusing those efforts.”