Madison County releases annual patient survey results

Public Health Department garners high ratings

VIRGINIA CITY—The Madison County Public Health office released the results of its annual patient survey earlier this month, and most respondents felt favorably toward the services they’d received.

MCPHD served around 2,200 residents during the last fiscal year through what registered nurse Melissa Brummell calls “direct contact:” That means those people came in for screenings, immunizations or educational sessions.

Through “indirect contact,” like disseminated educational information, immunization records reviews, emails and Facebook posts, the figure is much higher: MCPHD has reached over 6,000 people that way.

The survey goes out annually via email, making it an element of that indirect contact. Generally, it brings a response rate of around 30 percent. It asks everything from patients’ satisfaction with their care through MCPHD and which services they utilize most often to which programs they’d like to see in the future.

Of the survey respondents, over 70 percent said that they were very satisfied with their interactions with MCPHD. About half found out about the availability of services through schools, with another 36 percent finding out via their community’s hospital or clinic.

The majority of the residents served by MCPHD fell within either the teenage years or the 50+ group: 40 percent of families who utilized services had patients between the ages of 11-17, and 52 percent included patients aged 50 and over. Most of them utilize services offering immunizations at local schools, clinics countywide or the public health office itself.

Respondents were asked to rate staff knowledge and friendliness and clinic locations and comfort on scales ranging from “very unsatisfactory” to “superior.” In all four of those categories, MCPHD garnered ratings in the top two categories from around 90 percent of respondents. Ninety-two percent of patients rated their overall experience as “very satisfactory” or higher.

Another part of the survey asked patients what services they’d most like to see the department add, and by far the largest proportion answered that they or a family member would be interested in suicide prevention training. Brummell says this lines up with the department’s priorities.

“We noticed that suicide prevention training was a need,” says Brummell. “The public health department had already planned on getting staff members trained in QPR and this just affirms that we’re on the right track with community education.”

QPR stands for Question, Persuade, Refer: a suicide prevention program geared toward educating the public on how to intervene when someone they know is contemplating suicide. Brummell likens it to CPR, calling it a “life-saving intervention” program.

“Chances are, when we do trainings like this, someone in the audience knows someone who has been in a situation like that,” says Brummell. 

MCPHD plans to send three employees to an eight-hour training session, which will then be distilled down to an hour or two and can be disseminated to the public via educational training sessions at places like lions’ clubs or senior centers.

When asked to offer their specific thoughts, survey respondents expressed appreciation for the department’s school programs, like immunizations and resources for virus outbreaks among student populations. 

One resident also noted the department’s provision of bottled water when the Sheridan community was relying on it during water shortages last year. 

Desires expressed by respondents also included increased access to mental health support and improved infant and child services. 

MCPHD offers a variety of programs, fully outlined on their website for access to local resources like alcohol and drug abuse assistance, long term care, dental screenings and other options. The department will also continue to conduct its patient survey annually.

“We would love to get more feedback on our services,” says Brummell, who was, until recently, Madison County’s only public health nurse. “That way we can gauge what the community is interested in seeing from us.”

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The Madisonian

65 N. MT Hwy 287
Ennis, MT 59729

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