248107 Assessing access to health care, dental care, and prescription medication: The Healthy Community Council needs assessment

Monday, October 31, 2011

Kristi Lewis, PhD, MPH, CPH , Department of Health Sciences/CISAT, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
The Healthy Community Council (HCC) is a coalition established with the mission to increase the quality of life for those residing in the community. One goal of the HCC has been to assess the needs of the community every four or five years. The HCC members identify priorities based on the assessment data and assist with the planning and implementation of community initiatives around the focus areas. Data from the 2006 assessment, identified access to health services as a priority focus area for the community. In 2007, the Harrisonburg Community Health Center, a federally qualified health center, was established based on data from the 2006 community needs assessment.

In late 2010, a community health assessment was conducted and access to health services was evaluated. Data from the assessment was compared with Healthy People 2020 objectives. Approximately 5.6% of those completing the survey stated that they had problems getting needed health care (HP 2020 goal = 4.2%). Another 6.5% stated that they had problems getting needed dental care compared to the HP 2020 goal of 6.5%. In assessing the ability to obtained needed medicine, 3.7% of the respondents stated that they had difficulty in obtained needed prescriptions. This is above the HP 2020 objective of 2.8%.

When assessing access to health care, dental care and prescription drug availability, the HCC community falls below the Healthy People 2020 objectives. This data will be beneficial in identifying areas to focus resources within the community during the next five years.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
1. List the process for assessing access to health care, dental care, and prescription medications through a needs assessment. 2. Demonstrate the importance of using Healthy People 2020 as a comparison to local community needs assessment data. 3. Identify the need for indicators as a primary step in assessing the needs of a community including assess to needed health care.

Keywords: Assessments, Access to Health Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a master of public health degree (MPH) and a doctorate in research and evaluation. I also have conducted numerous research projects.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Access to Care II
See more of: Health Administration