265539 Title: The Development of a Community Health Index for the State of New Jersey: An Application to Improved Service Delivery

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bongguk Jin, Ph D , New Solutions Inc. & Beacon Health Informatics., New Brunswick, NJ
Don Dykstra , New Solutions Inc. & Beacon Health Informatics, New Brunswick, NJ
Identifying the health care service needs among different communities is a key component of effective community health planning as it helps policy planners to distribute resources efficiently among different communities and increases access to care. It is known that socio-economic indicators are associated with health care service utilization. Therefore, this study is intended to develop a single inclusive index that represents the health care service needs of communities using socio-economic indicators. This single index can be used not just to identify the health care service need of each community but to compare the needs easily across different communities. The variables used to develop the community health index are: hospital discharge data for Medicaid, charity/self-pay; population data for families in poverty, single parent households with kids, linguistic isolation, unemployment, education less than 9th grade, non-white, age 65+, and rental population. The zip code statistics for ten variables were obtained from US census, Claritas demographic data, and NEW JERSEY Hospital Discharge data(2007-2009). The principal component analysis generated one factor solution, which explained 88% of variances for the ten variables. The factor loadings ranged from .87 to .97. The index was significantly correlated to total inpatient hospital visits(r=.80,p<.0001) and emergency department visits(r=.78, p<.0001). The index successfully differentiated high need communities from low need communities. The total number of ED visits and ACSC(Ambulatory Care Sensitive conditions) ED visits per 1000 population for the top 100 needy communities were greater by 188% and 264% respectively, than the visits for the top 100 least needy communities.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the benefits of using community health index in community health planning and service delivery. 2. Identify those socioeconomic/demographic variables which have impact on health service utilization.

Keywords: Health Service, Needs Assessment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because in my position at New Solutions inc., I am responsible for research and analytical analysis of all aspects of the firm's research activities including risk adjusted studies of quality outcomes and resource utilization, survey research and development of analytical 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.