Population health can be difficult to define because regional and cultural barriers pose unique challenges to every community. In an attempt to better understand population health, Becker’s Hospital Review surveyed hospital executives in every state, asking them to name the most pressing health concern facing their institution and patients.
Becker’s collected a total of 50 responses — one from each state — that ranged from specific health problems, such as diabetes and hypertension, to more broad concerns about payment and financing. Some geographic trends were evident in the responses — for instance, states with fewer metropolitan cities were more concerned with reaching rural patients, while other states faced the challenge of recruiting enough employees.
However, the most frequently reported concern was the hospital’s ability to provide quality and convenient care, with more than 10 of those surveyed referencing it as the biggest problem. The University of Tennessee Medical Center — a member of America’s Essential Hospitals — is focusing on this issue by using a service-center concept to cater primary and specialty care to those in rural areas. KentuckyOne Health also has aimed to improve quality and convenience of care through its mobile screening program, which provides cost-effective testing for multiple forms of cancer.
Other essential hospitals featured in the survey include The University of Kansas Hospital, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Henry Ford Health System, and University of Vermont Medical Center.