Officials with the Cass County Health System say the results of a recent Community Survey have been compiled and the results have been provided to CCHS by the Des Moines based independent research company, Essman/Research, which managed the survey process.
Surveys were mailed to 3,000 Cass County residents last November (1,500 surveys were mailed within the city of Atlantic and 1,500 were mailed to residents outside Atlantic), asking for feedback on perceptions of local clinic and hospital services, as well as how people search for healthcare information. The research survey Summary Report was presented to the CCMH Board of Trustees at their regular January meeting.
Survey responses were analyzed by location of residence, age, household income, years in Southwest Iowa, and gender. Residents responded to questions regarding the overall awareness of clinics and hospitals in the area, where people prefer to receive medical care, where they actually go for care, and how they view the reputation and quality of care at Atlantic Medical Center and Cass County Memorial Hospital. The survey also addressed where people search for both general healthcare information and information about Cass County Health System.
Deb Stearns, PRC, Vice President and Marketing Research Director at Essman/Research, said “Overall, the survey results were favorable. With so many healthcare options available to residents in southwest Iowa, the majority of residents who responded to the survey chose Atlantic Medical Center and Cass County Memorial Hospital for their medical care.”
Stearns identified several trends in the data and respondent comments. Residents over age 50 versus younger residents tended to rate Atlantic Medical Center and Cass County Memorial Hospital higher in regard to “overall reputation.” The same split occurred with regard to the likeliness to use Cass County Memorial Hospital for their medical care.
Areas identified as CCHS strengths included: Competent and compassionate staff, local services and easy to access, availability and ease of scheduling clinic appointments, wide range of departments and services, and clean and up-to-date facilities. Common themes in the areas for improvement included: additional in-house specialists, on-time appointments/shorter wait times in the exam rooms, communicating test results to the patient more quickly, and knowing in advance the cost of required medical procedures. Respondents also indicated a desire to have more information regarding current remodeling projects.
CCHS CEO Todd Hudspeth said “We truly appreciate every individual who took the time to complete and return the survey. We are here to serve the people of southwest Iowa, and this information will allow us to better meet their needs as we move into the future.” He added “The survey feedback is going to be utilized as we develop and work our strategic plan for the next few years.”
Abbey Stangl, Chief Financial Officer, says patients can currently obtain general price estimates for planned hospital admissions by contacting the CCMH business office. She added, “We are in the early stages of reviewing different tools that will allow patients to more easily obtain pricing information in advance of planned admissions or even at the time of admission. The Iowa Hospital Association is assisting hospitals across the state in this effort to provide more pricing transparency to healthcare consumers, and we look forward to moving in that direction over the next 12 – 24 months.”