Phone survey slated for Douglas County |

Phone survey slated for Douglas County

It’s not every day Barton Memorial Hospital and Carson Tahoe Hospital operate on the same page to get into the minds of the community.

But next week the South Lake Tahoe health care organization will team up with the Carson City hospital, along with Gardnerville-based Carson Valley Medical Center, to set up a telephone survey designed to assess health care needs in Douglas County.

From Aug. 6 to 24, a marketing research firm will complete 400 surveys for the Healthy Community Initiative for Douglas County. The Douglas County Commission kicked in $2,000 for the $22,500 survey. The medical facilities will pay the remainder.

“It’s intended to identify health needs with the backup material in order for any health care institution to focus on what’s needed,” Barton spokeswoman Linda Thompson said.

Professional Research Consultants of Omaha, Neb., will conduct the comprehensive surveys, each taking approximately 20 minutes to complete and giving a broad view of health care needs in the region.

Thompson admitted it may be difficult to keep respondents, divided in 18-to-65 and 66-and-over age groups, on the phone that long.

Results of the survey are due in October, at which time community forums will be held. The hospital will later consider whether to conduct a similar survey in El Dorado County.

Questions for this survey will range from health care access and opinions on level of care, to medical conditions and personal behavior, such as smoking and athletic pursuits.

“We may be on the same page or not. We may find out we have a high rate of diabetes,” Thompson said. “And what we hear could pass on as civic policy.”

Some of the questions may reveal the level of gun ownership or the state of the community’s infrastructure such as the needs for more sidewalks.

“You never know what they’re going to give (for answers),” she said.

Here’s a sampling:

n During the past 30 days, for about how many days have you felt very healthy and full of energy?

n Was there a time in the last 12 months when you needed a prescription medicine but did not get it because you could not afford it?

n How would you rate your satisfaction with your overall health care?

n About how long has it been since you last visited a dentist or dental clinic?

n Have you had two years or more in your life when you felt depressed or sad most days, even if you felt OK sometimes?

n Has your child ever received instruction in swimming or water safety?

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