Eleven hospitals in northwestern and central New Jersey have teamed up to determine how to better fulfill the area’s health care needs, through an upcoming telephone survey to thousands of residents.
Beginning in April, randomly selected households primarily located in Morris, Sussex, Union, Passaic and Middlesex counties will be called to participate in a health assessment survey. The survey will seek participation of about 3,000 households. Households in some Somerset, Warren, Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Hunterdon County towns will also be included in the survey area.
The questions are designed to determine the status of health in areas throughout these counties, and identify opportunities for community health improvement. The survey is completely anonymous and confidential. Each household will be called at its home telephone number.
As part of the new federal health care reform law (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), non-profit hospitals are required to perform a community health needs assessment every three years. Hospitals are then required to create a plan of action based on the results of the survey.
Earlier this year, Atlantic Health System, Saint Clare’s Health System, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway, Chilton Hospital and Trinitas Regional Medical Center formed the Community Health Alliance of Northwestern-Central New Jersey (CHANCe NJ) to undertake the survey, in recognition of their many neighboring communities.
“Performing the survey through this unique alliance will allow us not only to see how we can better tailor our needs to the communities each of our systems serve, but also provide a wider perspective of the health of a large section of the state,” said Maureen Cianci, coordinator, community health, Newton Medical Center.
“The survey gives people a rare opportunity to tell us, in a clear, direct way, not only about the state of health in our communities, but also how we can improve and focus our efforts to fulfill our common mission: providing the highest level of health care services in New Jersey,” said Cynthia Lyons, director of community relations, Saint Clare’s Health System. “We want to make sure that residents in all of our service areas are prepared if their telephones ring, and also offer them ways to volunteer their feedback.”
What you need to know when the phone rings:
· Holleran, a research firm located in Pennsylvania with 20 years of experience in conducting stakeholder research and community health assessments, will conduct the survey on behalf of the Alliance. If you have caller ID, the number for Holleran may show up as a 717 area code
· The call should take, on average, about 15-20 minutes of your time
· Questions asked by the surveyor may include access to health care; health risk behaviors such as smoking, alcohol and drugs, exercise and physical activity habits; health conditions such diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or stroke; and awareness of hypertension and cholesterol
· If you are unavailable at the time of the call, multiple attempts will be made
· The survey is completely anonymous and confidential, and is at no cost to participants. At no time will anyone ever ask you for personal information, such as your social security or Medicare number, passwords or bank account information. The information collected will not be shared with any insurance agency or other company
Additionally, residents may schedule a more convenient time to take the survey, and anyone in the area may call 1-800-218-6468 to participate. Calls will begin on April 1, 2012 and continue through June.
For more information about Holleran, please visit www.holleranconsult.com
For more information about the members of the alliance, please visit them on the web:
· Atlantic Health System (Morristown Medical Center, Overlook Medical Center, Newton Medical Center, Goryeb Children’s Hospital) - www.atlantichealth.org
· Saint Clare’s Health System (Denville, Dover, Sussex and Boonton campuses) – www.saintclares.org
· Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway – www.rwjuhr.com
· Chilton Hospital – www.chiltonhealth.org
· Trinitas Regional Medical Center – www.trinitashospital.org