Community Health Assessment
Community Health Assessment
Community Health Assessment
Community refers to a group of people with various characteristics who share social ties and cooperate in combined action within a geographical area. The definition of community within healthcare is important because of the way that it determines the extent to which experts will carry out certain actions as well as the scope of their activity. Since a community health assessment evaluates the magnitude of certain problems within a specific locale, it is important for all people affected by the issues to participate in the process. As such, the stakeholders that should be involved in an assessment include the local government, law enforcement agencies, the health department, hospitals and healthcare centers in the area and the public. When assessing a community, experts should collect information from the local government, health institutes and law enforcement agencies regarding information such as the mortality rate, infant mortality, childbirth, population growth, the prevalence of various diseases and medical insurance coverage.
The Healthy People 2020 standards are used as targets that community health departments and officials can aim for when carrying out projects in their areas. By working to meet these standards, health officials can significantly improve the conditions in their communities, even in the event that they do not achieve their targets. One advantage of applying the Healthy People 2020 standards is that their achievement will improve the health conditions of the communities and reduce the reliance that people have on medication and treatment processes. Alternatively, some of the standards are too high for some communities and health workers may come under a lot of pressure as they are trying to match them. A possible alternative for the Healthy People 2020 standards at the national level are the Global Targets 2025. The member states of the World health Organization outlined these targets for the global community in light of the current state of affairs in international health care. By using these standards to measure improvements, the US can significantly increase the quality of healthcare in the future.
Data regarding health indicators can be retrieved from a variety of sources. Some of the best sources for such information are government offices at the community and state level. This is because these offices collect the data from the various health centers and law enforcement agencies in the community and compile it for analysis and dissemination. The data regarding the prevalence of diabetes in Franklin County was available on the official website of the health department in the state of Ohio (www.healthy.ohio.gov/comprofiles/franklin.pdf). Information concerning the prevalence rate of gonorrhea in Franklin County was available in the Franklin County HealthMap 2013, a report published by several organizations and posted on the medical centre website of the Ohio State University (http://medicalcenter.osu.edu/aboutus/community_commitment/Documents/FranklinCountyHealthMap2013.pdf).
Pitt County Health Indicators
|Domain||Indicators||Rate in Pitt County||Rate in the US|
|Communicable Diseases||Tuberculosis infections per 100,000 people||5.0||4.9|
|Hepatitis A infections per 100,000 people||17||12.1|
|Hepatitis C infections per 100,000 people||2.9||0.4|
|Chronic Diseases||Lung cancer incidence rate per 100,000 people||78.8||67.5|
|Diabetes mortality rate per 100,000 people||34.3||25.4|
|Injury and Violence||Suicide rate per 100,000 people||10.82||10.5|
|Homicide rate per 100,000 people||11.2||5.9|
|Automobile accidents; mortality per 100,000 people||19.6||15.2|
|Maternal and Child Health||Infant Mortality per 1,000 live births||7.1||6.9|
|Low birth weight (less than 2.5 kilos) per 100 births||11.6||7.9|
|Teen pregnancy per 1000 teens||39.8||83.6|
|Environmental Health||Lead poisoning per 1100 infants||2.8||1.3|
|Diseases contracted from outdoor air pollutants (in percentage)||9.1||12.0|
|Diseases contracted from indoor air pollutants (in percentage)||15.0||16.4|
|Access to Health Care||Percentage without medical insurance||20.8||16.5|
|Dentists per 100,000 people||37.8||58.4|
|Kindergarten tooth decay rates (percentage)||27.7||26|
The information above shows that Pitt County is lagging behind the national average in issues concerning lung cancer, diabetes and the homicide rate. As such, these three indicators should be areas of concern for the health department in the county as well as the state government. Additionally, a comparison between these indicators and the Healthy People 2020 standards shows that the county is far behind its targets in the areas of lung cancer and medical insurance coverage. For instance, the Healthy People 2020 initiative sets a target of reducing lung cancer mortality to 45.5 deaths per one hundred thousand people (Cancer, 2013). Pitt County is currently far behind this target with a rate of 78.8 deaths per 100,000 people. Similarly, eighty percent of the county’s population currently lacks health insurance, while the target set by the Healthy People 2020 initiative is to have everybody in the country receive medical insurance (Access to health services, 2013). This means that the county needs to take action to catch up to the national average as well as the Healthy People 2020 target. Lastly, the county needs to take action to meet the Healthy People 2020 target for infant mortality. The initiative seeks to reduce infant mortality in the United States to six deaths per a thousand live births, while Pitt County currently has a rate of 7.1 deaths (Maternal, infant and child health, 2013).
Access to health services (2013). Retrieved from http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topicsobjectives2020/objectiveslist.aspx?topicId=1.
Cancer (2013). Retrieved from http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topicsobjectives2020/objectiveslist.aspx?topicId=5.
Maternal, infant and child health (2013). Retrieved from http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topicsobjectives2020/objectiveslist.aspx?topicId=26.
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