The Central Ohio Hospital Council (COHC), which includes The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, released its health needs assessment to help hospitals and other organizations better understand the health needs and priorities of Franklin County residents.

The Franklin County HealthMap 2016: Navigating Our Way to a Healthier Community Together provides residents of central Ohio with a comprehensive summary of the community's health status and needs. The data will be used to inform the development and implementation of strategic plans to meet the community health needs identified through the assessment.

As part of its mission, COHC serves as the forum for community hospitals to collaborate with each other and with other community stakeholders to improve the quality, value and accessibility of health care in the central Ohio region. Consistent with that mission, central Ohio hospitals believe that the issues facing the community's health care system can be solved more effectively when working together. While this work started as a hospital initiative, the effort has grown into a multi-stakeholder collaborative, whereby a broad range of local organizations worked together to identify, collect and analyze the health indicators contained in this report.

The Wexner Medical Center participated in the Franklin County HealthMap 2016 in partnership with the COHC, Ohio Health, Mount Carmel, Nationwide Children's, Columbus Public Health, United Way, OSU College of Public Health, PrimaryOne Health and Central Ohio Trauma System. The collaborative effort aims to gain a comprehensive knowledge of the greatest health needs of our immediate community. The document has a complete listing of all participants on pages 3-5.

To conduct this initial assessment, the Steering Committee reviewed indicators that were included in the Franklin County HealthMap2013 and, in small group discussions, decided whether to include them in the updated report. Subgroups also discussed including new indicators, which were identified previously via a survey to Steering Committee members.

Data for these health indicators came from national sources (e.g., U.S. Census, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System), state sources (e.g., Ohio Department of Health's Data Warehouse, Ohio Hospital Association) and local sources (e.g., Central Ohio Trauma System, Columbus Public Health). Rates and/or percentages were calculated when necessary. In some instances, comparable state and/or national data were unavailable at the time of report preparation and, accordingly, are not included in this report. All data sources are identified in the Reference section at the end of the report.

In some cases, new indicators were identified for 2016 that were not included in the previous report (2013). In these instances, the most recent data are listed under 2016, and previous data are listed under the 2013 heading, even though it will not be found in the HealthMap2013. This was done for ease of reading. No information gaps that may impact the ability to assess the health needs of the community were identified while conducting the 2016 health needs assessment for Franklin County.

To ensure community stakeholders are able to use this report to make well-informed decisions, only the most recent data available at the time of report preparation are presented. To be considered for inclusion in Franklin County HealthMap2016, indicator data must have been collected or published by 2011. Lastly, although the COHC member hospitals have service areas that extend across central Ohio, for the purposes of this report, the local geographic focus area is Franklin County.

The health map is updated every three years, consistent with federal guidelines. The document is divided into six areas of priority health needs and provides the following information:

  • Complete detail of the process, participants, methodology and the indicators used to determine health priorities.
  • Available community resources currently addressing the needs indicated.
  • A guide to target limited resources, a vehicle for strengthening relationships, and an invaluable tool for the community. A feedback mechanism will also be provided.

Identified Health Needs

1. Access to Care
Emergency departments (EDs) in Franklin County experience higher utilization, when comparing rates per population, than do EDs across the state. Similarly, emergency departments in Franklin County are utilized more often for less severe cases, when comparing rates per population, than EDs across the state. In terms of specific conditions where access to care poses a problem, Franklin County adults have more difficulty in accessing dental care when compared to adults across Ohio.

2. Chronic Disease
Chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability at the local, state and national levels. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, medical care costs of people with chronic diseases account for more than 75 percent of total medical care costs in the U.S. In Franklin County, more than 60 percent of all deaths were due to chronic disease. Franklin County has a higher prevalence of both adults and youth diagnosed with asthma when compared to state and national data. Though the prevalence of adults in Franklin County diagnosed with diabetes is slightly less than for adults in the state of Ohio, it is higher than for adults in the U.S. There is also a higher prevalence of obesity in Franklin County adults which can lead to diabetes.

3. Infectious Disease
Incidences of infectious diseases, especially those that are sexually transmitted, are more prevalent in Franklin County than in Ohio. Franklin County rates for pertussis and tuberculosis are higher than Ohio rates. The incidence rates for two hospital-acquired infections – methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus Aureus (MSSA) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) – are slightly higher in Franklin County than in Ohio.

4. Obesity
Obesity in Ohio and in Franklin County is a recurring problem. In Franklin County, nearly one third of adults (30.7 percent) are obese, compared to the national average of 27.6 percent. What's more, 19.8 percent of children are considered obese, compared to 13.7 percent nationally.

5. Infant Mortality
Every week in Franklin County three families lose a baby before he or she turns one. In fact, Franklin County's infant mortality rate is far above the national rate and one of the highest in the country. And, there is a significant racial disparity in infant mortality rates, with black babies dying at twice the rate of white babies.

6. Mental Health and Addiction
Mental health and addiction is a pervasive problem in our community. An estimated one in four adults in Franklin County experiences mental illness. Hospitalizations for psychiatric reasons and for attempted suicides have been increasing. And, a lack of psychiatric beds means these patients often turn up at hospital emergency departments, crowding those facilities until more appropriate settings can.

The Franklin County HealthMap 2016 will be combined with the asset mapping process that includes all of the colleges of health sciences. This strategic process involves the continual collection and analysis of data on health status and factors contributing to poor health, and collaboration with diverse stakeholders to address both the symptoms and underlying cause of health problems. This is a unique opportunity to partner on issues of prevention and community health with community members and stakeholders.

Many of the services provided are often safety net services for low income community residents from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. These services also provide an avenue of learning, research and innovation that can inform the ongoing review and redesign of the health professions educational process among our colleges and schools.

Moving directly into a community-based approach mobilizes diverse community stake holders to determine what will work based upon historical experience, engage formal and informal leaders, build local leadership and create positive norms in the community. Using an ecological approach that moves beyond community needs and deficits to identify and build on existing assets will drive a strategy to alignment a common theme within the Wexner Medical Center and our academic affiliates in addressing the identified health needs.

The Ohio State University Commitment to Healthy Communities Logic Model is a listing of the activities occurring at The Ohio State University to address these health needs. It is a multi-disciplinary approach to the health needs identified by the Franklin County HealthMap 2016. We will continually update the outcome data as we work together to participate in Community Health.

2016 Implementation Plan

  • Use community mapping process as measurement tool to encourage cooperation
  • Interact with community leaders and community services agencies
  • Select all six Health Needs
  • Develop individual strategies for each department, college or organization for each of the six Health Needs
  • Develop measurements of progress for each department, college or organization for each of the six Health Needs
  • Evaluate the six health needs as it relates to social determinants of health and population science
  • Focus community outreach and education programs on the most vulnerable and historically underserved residents in the communities