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Appropriate Number of Activities

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  • #6455

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    Posted by: Cherrie Marti, Ministry Health

    Date: August 26, 2009, 2:56 pm

    The Guide for Planning and Reporting Community Benefit has done an exceptional job of identifying and listing community benefit activities. The challenge we face as a health care system is how many activities should be listed to provide breadth of information while keeping selections minimal for reporters to choose an appropriate activity. Our training indicates that no two organizations use the same approach. With upcoming Schedule H reporting, have any organizations found it helpful to maintain a very detailed (and lengthy) activity list or found that minimizing activities will be a better approach?

    #6613

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    Response: Jo Anne Leslie, Henry Ford Health System

    Date: August 26, 2009, 3:18 pm

    We do not limit the number of activities, and add them as appropriate when activities are submitted to us. As an organization, we want to know exactly the activities that are occurring at our many sites, and would never limit those to be reported. We distributed the CBISA Prompter Checklist during training, and explained that it can be used as a guideline, and found that to be extremely helpful. Not limiting the activities helps us match them to our Needs Assessment to see what changes need to be made.

    #6614

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    Response: Jeff Warstler, Van Wert Hospital

    Date: August 26, 2009, 3:37 pm

    I imagine the approach each organization takes will be specific to their needs. Our hospital considered activity ownership and other customers’ informational needs beyond the IRS and Schedule H requirements. One example relates to interns. We have interns in a number of specialties so we set up each specialty as a distinct activity for reporting costs associated with intern programs. The manager of each specialty has ownership for gathering and reporting their activity. Clarifying the responsibility component has been helpful for us. Additionally, internships cover a couple of divisions so by having each listed separately, a VP can easily isolate the activities within their divisions/areas of responsibility. We probably erred on the side of more detail rather than less. It’s easier to summarize detail later rather than having to start over when the detail is insufficient. I hope that helps!

    #6615

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    Response: Renee Hanrahan, Via Christi Health System

    Date: August 26, 2009, 3:44 pm

    We don’t limit the number of activities but we do limit the number of individuals who can add them. Lots of our employees can add “occurrences” but only the facility coordinators are allowed to add “activities.” Each of our facilities are unique to their own communities and/or mission so to limit their activities based on numbers would be counterproductive on how we use CBISA for planning purposes. In order to make things a little easier for all of our facility reporters, we have implemented an “activity standards” approach so that like activities are clustered together for ease in finding the right activity.

    #6616

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    Response: Samantha Frost, Ochsner Clinic Foundation

    Date: August 26, 10:15 pm

    We follow a similar approach – I (system administrator) enter the activities and others in the system enter occurrences.

    #6617

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    Response: Michelle Brooks, University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina

    Date: August 27, 2009, 2:56 pm

    We also enter activities at the system administrator level. Allows for consistency across system hospitals in naming common activities. Also this often “flips the switch” for others who may not have remembered to document that specific activity. We have elected to go into detail as well. We too wanted to be able to provide specific information to various audiences and felt that more detail was better than not enough. This will be our first complete fiscal year using CBISA so I may feel differently come the end of Sept. when I do the year end report!

    #6618

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    Response: Caron Lanouette, Community Benefit Consultant

    Date: September 3, 2009, 4:49 pm

    I have been using CBISA for quite awhile and help hospitals organize how they use it. So I’m hoping I can be of some help. I do agree with some of the earlier posts that you should not be limiting the number of Activities for all the reasons already given. However, I am wondering, is it the number of Activities or the number of people reporting Occurrences in the Activities? Can you give me a little more information? Can anyone who runs a support group, teaches a class, does a health screening, etc. enter those Occurrences? Or are there selected Reporters who enter multiple Activity Occurrences? You might need to just limit the amount of Reporters rather than the Activities.
    Also, one technique I have used is to add a code to the beginning of the Activity name to signify the dept conducting the activity. That way reporters can find the Activities associated with their depts. more easily. For instance, all Pediatric Activities start with Pedi-Elementary School screenings; Pedi-Teddy Bear Clinics, etc. or all Volunteer Services Activities would be Vols-Day of Caring, Vols-Blood Drives, etc.

    #6619

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    Response: Cherrie Marti, Ministry Health

    Date: September 4, 2009, 2:36 pm

    I believe that the last suggestion is one that we are going to work toward to make it easier for the reporters to find and select activities. We used to have all of ours numbered but that didn’t go through in the conversion to CBISA online. Grouping will at least get them to one area versus looking alpha and getting frustrated.

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