2009-11-12 / Front Page

FCMC Earns High Marks In Survey

Calls completed to 200 homes
By Jean Snyder STAFF WRITER

Calls have been completed for Fulton County Medical Center’s telephone survey conducted in October as part of a National Association of Counties (NACo) project, and the results presented at a recent meeting were positive for the Medical Center.

The telephone survey was part of the NACo project conducted by Oklahoma State University and its National Center for Rural Health Works. The survey, conducted during the week of October 5, consisted of 24 questions posed to members of 200 homes in the Medical Center’s service area. The survey was done to assist in long-term planning for the Medical Center, assist in the provision of quality healthcare services and assist in the recruitment and retention of physicians and healthcare professionals for the future.

The survey results presented to the 30-member FCMC Community Engagement Team last Wednesday showed that FCMC, in many areas, was ranked higher than other medical facilities studied by the Rural Health Works Center. For example, a question was asked about consumer satisfaction with quality of medical care in our area. In Fulton County, 92.6 percent of those surveyed expressed satisfaction while in other studies, the average of satisfied consumers was 90.6 percent. Some of the reasons given for their satisfaction were “received good care, correct treatment/ diagnosis, convenient/ quick service, professional/ courteous doctors and staff and an established relationship.”

In another consumer satisfaction question about services received at Fulton County Medical Center, 98.5 percent of those surveyed expressed satisfaction while the average in other areas was 86.5 percent.

One question specifically asked about services received in FCMC’s emergency room. Eighty-one of the 200 persons surveyed have used an emergency room in the past 24 months. Sixty-nine of the 81 had used FCMC’s emergency room and 85.5 percent expressed satisfaction with their visit. In other areas surveyed, 83.3 percent expressed satisfaction.

Those surveyed were asked if they or someone in their household had been to a primary care doctor in Fulton County in the past 24 months and 122 out of 200 responded “yes.”

In other questions, consumers were asked if they use a family doctor (as opposed to an emergency room) for most of their routine medical care and 193 out of the 200 responded “yes” to the question. One hundred twenty-seven of the respondents say they go to Mc- Connellsburg for their routine healthcare needs, while 17 responded Hancock, Md., 12 responded Hagerstown, Md., and 10 responded Mercersburg.

Fourteen of the 200 respondents reported that a family member had been placed in a nursing home, assisted-living facility or personal-care home in the past 24 months. Ten of those were placed in McConnellsburg.

Another high mark for Fulton County was that 191 of the 200 respondents reported that they were able to get an appointment with their primary care doctor when they needed one. One hundred twenty-one of the respondents reported that either they or someone in their household had been to a specialist in the past 24 months. The specialists visited were (from most visited to least): cardiologist, orthopedist, OB/GYN, gastroenterologist, neurologist, pulmonologist, oncologist, dermatologist, ear, nose and throat physician, ophthalmologist and surgeon.

In response to a question, “did you or a family member used any dental, mental health or drug and alcohol services in the last 24 months,” 89 of those surveyed used dental services, 11 used mental health services and one used drug and alcohol services. One hundred six of the respondents did not use any of those services. Thirty-nine of the respondents received dental services in McConnellsburg, while six received in Warfordsburg, 14 in Mercersburg, six in Chambersburg, two in Greencastle, 10 in Hagerstown, Md., six in Hancock, Md., and four in Saxton.

Five respondents received mental health services in Mc- Connellsburg and one person received drug and alcohol services in McConnellsburg.

Sixty-eight of the respondents reported receiving nonemergency services at Fulton County Medical Center. Only three reported receiving mammography at FCMC which was of concern to the group. Only two respondents reported receiving mammography at another hospital.

Another high grade for Fulton County was a question about whether or not there has been a time in the past 24 months when the respondent was not able to get healthcare services due to a lack of transportation. Two hundred respondents answered “no” to that question.

In a question asked about pharmacy services, 49 percent of those who needed prescriptions obtained them in Mc- Connellsburg, while 26 percent used mail-order services.

Of the 200 surveyed, 184 had some type of health insurance while only 17 reported no health insurance. Seventy-eight of those with insurance were covered by their employer, 56 by Medicare, 44 by their spouse’s employer, 27 by self-paid, private insurance plans, seven by Medicaid, four by Champus/TriCare, three by VA, two by COBRA and one adult basic.

Wednesday’s meeting marked the conclusion of the NACo project, and FCMC and the community 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; 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 had already been presented and discussed at the first two meetings.

The economic-impact report presented at the first meeting in September showed that while Fulton County’s employment overall has decreased 5.1 percent since 1998, healthcare employment has actually increased by 10.4 percent. The report estimates the total income generated by health services in Fulton County at nearly $25 million, with 586 jobs provided at FCMC, by other health professionals and by other health and medical services such as assisted living, hospice and pharmacies.

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