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Community Health Needs Assessment

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Community Health Needs Assessment
During the past year, a focused community health needs assessment was conducted by Trinity Community Hospital. The assessment targeted cancer, orthopedic, and cardiovascular services within the hospital’s primary service region. It utilized information from multiple sources, including epidemiological surveys, state healthcare facilities’ planning guidelines, interviews with physicians and other healthcare professionals, and community focus groups. Following are highlights of the assessment results.
Oncology Services
1) Demand—an aging population will create a sharp increase in the demand for oncology services in the primary service area. 15% of the population will be over 65 within the next five years. 50% of men and 33% of women are expected to develop cancer during their lifetimes. New cancer cases are expected to grow from 3,200 this year to 4,282 in five years (+34%).
2) Existing Resources—facilities and resources to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer are already stressed. Interviews with medical and radiation oncologists confirm that physician practices are at capacity and that recruitment of additional physicians is underway. State planning data confirms the need. Facilities and equipment to diagnose and treat cancer patients are not keeping pace with growth in patient volume. The community already needs additional linear accelerators, chemo units, operating suites, and advanced imaging equipment. Physicians, nurses, social workers, and patients indicate that services available are fragmented and poorly coordinated. Delays in scheduling services are common. Of the two hospitals currently providing cancer care, neither of them offers patient navigator programs to facilitate timely scheduling of tests, treatments, and other services. There is little emphasis on cancer prevention and control. Widespread screening for the top cancer sites (breast, lung, prostate, GI) should be available throughout the community in order to diagnose and treat the disease as early as possible, thus improving outcomes and lowering costs. Educational programs focusing on lifestyle modification including diet, exercise, nutrition shopping for healthier food products, and smoking cessation are infrequent and sporadic.
Orthopedic Services
1) Demand—the need for orthopedic services in the primary service area is expected to grow rapidly in the next five years. Orthopedic cases are expected to climb from 11,800 to 17,338 (+46%). Inpatient joint and spine procedures are expected to increase by 30%. Outpatient joint and spine procedures are expected to increase by 350%.
2) Existing Resources—with current resources, physicians and hospitals will be unable to meet the growing demand for orthopedic services. Interviews with orthopedic and neurosurgeons confirm that recruitment of additional physicians is a priority. State planning data confirms the need. All hospitals in the county will need to add imaging equipment, surgical suites, and physical therapy/rehab capacity. Patient care coordinators are needed to ensure that services are scheduled in a timely fashion. Educational programs targeting accident prevention and healthy lifestyles are needed, especially for the elderly and those participating in athletics and fitness activities.
Cardiovascular Services
1) Demand—as with cancer and orthopedics, there will be a large increase in demand for cardiovascular services in the primary service area in the next five years. Cases of coronary artery disease are expected to grow from 54,000 to 65,700 (+21.6%). Diagnostic cath procedures are expected to increase from 10,800 to 13,140 (+22%). Angioplasties are expected to grow from 4,000 to 5032 (+25.8%).
2) Existing Resources—additional facilities, equipment, physicians and other resources will be needed to provide quality care for those impacted by cardiovascular disease. Cardiology and cardiovascular surgery groups are recruiting additional physicians. State planning data confirms the need. All hospitals in the county will need additional cath labs, surgical suites, and cardiac rehab capacity. Patient care coordinators will be needed to facilitate timely scheduling of services. Little emphasis is being placed on education concerning cardiac risk factors, healthy living, and lifestyle modification.

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