Bonner General Hospital
Community Healthcare Needs Assessment
Report to the Community
We are honored to be your community hospital and appreciate the opportunity to serve your healthcare needs!
Your opinions are important to us as we plan for the future and prepare to meet our community’s healthcare needs on both a short-term and a long-term basis. We completed our community healthcare needs assessment last November, which was designed to obtain the community’s perceptions and input about local healthcare issues. The assessment consisted of a written survey, a series of community focus groups, and individual interviews with various community members.
Here are the results:
The respondents who have used Bonner General Hospital are generally satisfied with our overall services. According to the written survey results:
- Over 90% of all respondents who were hospitalized at BGH in the past year rated the overall quality, physician care and nursing care as “excellent” or “good.”
- 80% of Sandpoint respondents prefer BGH over other hospitals; 57% of all respondents (Bonner County and all surrounding areas) prefer BGH.
- A primary reason cited for not using BGH was that the services needed are not available here.
- 84% of respondents felt it is extremely important that BGH remain open.
We asked participants to identify the major healthcare issues, concerns and needs facing our community. The most frequently-cited issues were:
- Availability of services for the indigent, uninsured or poorly insured
- Rising cost of healthcare
- Need for more timely access to primary care services
- Increasing need for aging population services (respite services, adult day care, affordable assisted living, more skilled nursing beds)
- Lack of mental health services
We also asked what steps BGH could take to improve the services we provide to our community. The most common responses were:
- Provide better education about the hospital’s programs and services
- Improve the billing and collections process
- Upgrade mammography services
- Expand cancer treatment services
- Begin offering dialysis services
- Offer more community programs (e.g., support groups, health screenings)
- Improve the appearance, directional signage and layout of the hospital, especially the emergency department
We have addressed several of these issues and are currently assessing others. Here are some of the steps we’ve already taken:
Provide better education about the hospital’s programs and services.
We are currently upgrading our website to provide more information about the programs and services available at BGH, as well as other relevant and timely healthcare information. We are also revising a number of our brochures and other materials to ensure they are informative and easy-to-read.
Upgrade mammography services.
In August 2008, we began offering state-of-the-art digital mammography services by Hologic. The response to this service has been overwhelmingly positive!
Expand cancer treatment services.
In June 2007, Bonner General Hospital partnered with Kootenai Medical Center to offer chemotherapy services in Sandpoint. This service has been well-received by cancer patients in our community, who are no longer required to drive to Coeur d’Alene for chemotherapy treatment.
Since we began offering chemotherapy services, many patients have asked if we will be able to expand our cancer treatment services to include radiation therapy. The expense associated with offering radiation therapy is significant, and while we do not anticipate being able to offer this service in the near future, we are continuing to explore feasible and fiscally responsible ways to add this service.
Provide dialysis services.
We are pleased to welcome two new dialysis providers to our community! Liberty Dialysis and Fresenius Medical Care are both scheduled to begin offering dialysis services in 2009. These dialysis centers, which are independent of each other and are not affiliated with the hospital, will provide a much sought-after healthcare service to our community and we welcome them to Sandpoint!
Offer more community programs (support groups, health screenings, etc.).
We currently offer or host several community programs at the hospital, and are evaluating what other programs could be added. Current programs available at the hospital include:
- Community CPR and first aid classes
- Childbirth education classes
- Grief support groups for both adults and children
- Diabetes support groups
- Fibromyalgia support groups
- Parkinson’s support groups
- Children’s mental health support groups
- Alzheimer’s support groups
- National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI) support groups
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- Narcotics Anonymous
We were also honored to partner with the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce to present the first annual community health and wellness fair lastSeptember, and anticipate that this will become an annual community event.