The assessment process builds on the methodology developed during the 2016 Regional Health Assessment. It includes more than 140 hospital and community data indicators. This data was compared to the nation and past performance and used to create the six Assessed Health Issues (AHI). 

These Assessed Health Issues are:

The hospital data, which includes information from both Emergency Departments and clinical quality measures, provides greater insight and understanding to the acuity and severity of the AHI within the community. The assessment also used broad-based community input via a survey. Those results are represented under Local Input below. With all of the data collected, as well as consideration for feasibility and readiness of the community to address those issues, local stakeholders decided upon community priorities.

Each of these elements is represented in a prioritization process, which examines 14 factors for each AHI. Community leaders used the information to build consensus while identifying the priority health issues.

Hospital Data

One of the unique aspects of the Ozarks Health Commission (OHC) Regional Health Assessment (RHA) is the collection of data from partnering hospitals. Hospital data provides a more real-time evaluation of community health needs than secondary data, which lags three to five years. 

Additionally, it allows the OHC to study specific health needs in relation to the AHI in each community. This approach assists in determining priority health issues and developing strategic Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIPs) that align with the strengths of healthcare, public health, and community-based agencies.

To supplement population health data with more timely and in-depth information concerning the OHC Region populations, two types of primary hospital information were utilized: Emergency Department (ED) and Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) data. This section of the report details demographic and payer information of all ED patients, as well as those presenting with health issues relating to the AHI.

Community Data 

The compilation and analysis of secondary community health data was key to informing the selection of health issues to assess and prioritize. Key indicators that were identified through the 2016 assessment, as well as indicators that performed more poorly than the nation were reviewed and grouped accordingly. This process produced the same set of AHI and Common Threads as were identified in 2016. Data sources included the 2016 Missouri Student Survey County Reports, 2016 Arkansas Prevention Needs Assessment Survey, and the Department of Health and Senior Services – MOPHIMS, Cancer Incidence MICA. Community Commons served as a warehouse for much of the data used. 

Local Input 

In addition to secondary and hospital data, the assessment garnered community feedback through the dissemination of a survey that captures perspective on the importance of the AHI to the community.