2009-10-01 / Front Page

Don’t Hang Up The Phone: Your Opinion Needed

FCMC asks community to participate in telephone survey
By Jean Snyder STAFF WRITER

A local healthcare survey will be conducted by telephone during the week of October 5, and Fulton County Medical Center and its community engagement team members are asking citizens to participate in the survey if called in order to assist FCMC in planning for local healthcare. The telephone numbers called by the surveyors will be computer generated and all answers will be completely confidential. You will not be asked for your name. The calls will be made October 5-9 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

The surveys are part of Fulton County Medical Center evaluation of the community’s healthcare system and learning more about how it affects the local economy. Funded by a National Association of Counties (NACo) grant, technical assistance is being provided to a 30- member community engagement group by NACo and the Oklahoma Center for Rural Health at the Oklahoma State University. The community engagement team met last week with the Rural Health staff to put the finishing touches on the approximately 30 questions that will be asked in the 15-20 minute telephone survey.

The survey will include questions about where you obtain your healthcare, your satisfaction with it, the availability of healthcare for you, the accessibility and quality of healthcare and how you feel healthcare could be improved locally.

The results of the survey will assist in long-term planning for the Medical Center, will assist in the provision of quality healthcare services and will assist in the recruitment and retention of physicians and healthcare professionals for the future.

During last week’s community engagement team meeting, Gerald A. Doekson, extension economist at Oklahoma State University (which is home to the National Center for Rural Health Works), and Val Schott, director of the center, reminded members of the community team that healthcare provides 586 jobs in Fulton County and generates about $29.4 million to the local economy. The economic impact report prepared for Fulton also showed that while Fulton County’s employment overall has decreased 5.1 percent since 1998, healthcare employment has actually increased by 10.4 percent.

It was also explained last week that telephone calls will be made until at least 200 responses are received in order for the survey to be representative of the county. Although the survey questions have been customized for Fulton County, the surveyors will be Oklahoma State University students, so those with caller ID may see an out-of-area number and one that may not be familiar to them. If you receive this call, you are asked to please participate in the survey to assist Fulton County Medical Center and other local healthcare professionals in this endeavor.

Although individual answers will be confidential because those participating will be anonymous, the overall results of the survey will be shared with the community through FCMC and its community engagement team.

At the conclusion of the project, FCMC and the community will have received four separate project reports, including: an economic impact report describing economic activity both in terms of dollars produced and jobs produced for the local economy, which has already been presented; a directory of health and human services provided in the local service area; the survey of the health services utilization patterns of the community and the reasons for those patterns; and a compilation of secondary data regarding the community, much of which has already been presented and discussed..

The community engagement team will meet again on Oct. 14.

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