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Collecting Encounters as a Statistic

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  • #6457

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    Posted by: Laura Small, Atlantic General

    Date: August 27, 2009, 10:20 am

    We have considered discontinuing the collection of encounters since it is not a requirement to provide for state reporting; has anyone else come across this thought as well?

    #6623

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    Response: Jo Anne Leslie, Henry Ford Health System

    Date: August 27, 2009, 10:41 am

    Good morning Laura, by “Encounters”, are you referring to the number of Persons Served by the activity? If so, you need to keep collecting that….it is used for the IRS Form 990, Schedule H requirement. That form also has the # of activities. You can run this report/form on CBISA or discuss with the tax preparers at your hospital.

    #6624

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    Response: Paulette Matlosz, Central Montana Medical Center

    Date: August 27, 2009, 10:50 am

    Hi Leslie – and anyone who has a better grasp of the number of persons served by an activity. Does anyone else feel the number of persons served can be difficult to determine? If it is a matter of serving on a community board of directors, I’m counting the number of directors…even though the group they support may have hundreds of members. If it is a community event, I’m guessing a percentage of our service area’s population. Once in a great while, we actually have a number from a sign-in sheet. Any comments?

    #6625

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    Response: Jo Anne Leslie, Henry Ford Health System

    Date: August 27, 2009, 11:03 am

    Hi Paulette, I think you are taking the correct approach. We have an issue with “persons served” too, and in some instances, we don’t even add the number of persons served. For instance, our (employed) physicians do a lot of radio/TV interviews on various medical topics. We do not attempt to estimate a number of persons served to those activities. At community events, we are trying to get the organizers to either maintain a signin sheet or keep a hand-counter in use as people pass through their area. Or, they keep track of the number of booklets/information they distributed. Our reporting departments are trying to be proactive in this because they get “credit” for it on reports/databases.

    #6626

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    Response: Jennifer Olson, Winona Health

    Date: August 27, 2009, 11:16 am

    We are very conservative regarding the number of persons served. When we’re doing health fairs, we only count those who we provide free screenings to. When media calls to have a doctor address a health concern like H1N1 or Lyme Disease, I only count the doctors time and not those served. I also don’t count the number of people served when staff are on non-profit committees – only their time.

    #6627

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    Response: Geralyn Litzinger, Margaret Mary Community Hospital

    Date: August 27, 2009, 1:37 pm

    On numbers served, we use actual number. If we don’t know the number served…for example a radio show, I was told we are to use one (1). I would be interested in hearing what others are doing.

    #6628

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    Response: Dionna Gavin, Froedtert Hospital

    Date: August 27, 2009, 11:11 am

    This is an important topic that many individuals struggle with. For us, it’s important to be conservative when the numbers served are not as concrete. For instance, it’s easy for us to state how many interns or support groups attendees we have. Yet, it’s not as easy to grasp how many people we serve at community events. We felt it was disingenuous to count the number of people that attended an event when we didn’t have contact with them all. So if we provide screenings at an event we count the number of people that received screenings. If we distributed brochures, we count the number of brochures we distributed and people we spoke to. It’s not 100% accurate, but it’s our best attempt at this time.

    #6629

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    Response: Carol Howdyshell, Genesis HealthCare System

    Date: August 27, 2009, 2:13 pm

    At events, we try to track face to face contacts for community benefits. If it is a large event and there is a sign-in, we keep track of that separately in the notes for next year’s planning purposes. In our area, elementary schools will have a health day in the spring and they ask for speakers to do presentations or interactions with the kids for 15-20 minutes. Often different departments, rehab, dietary, etc., will attend. We track the total # kids in attendance at the school as persons served, but the departments will have encounters. That way we never double count.

    As far as meetings go, I just enter # of people at the meeting as encounters and don’t use people served that those activities.

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