Do rural hospitals lag behind urban hospitals in addressing community health needs? An analysis of recent trends in US community hospitals

Wanqing Zhang, Keith J. Mueller, Li Wu Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: This study examined whether rural and urban hospitals differ in their level of responsiveness to community health needs. Design: This study used a multivariate, longitudinal research design. Research setting: A cross-sectional survey was the setting for this study. Participants: The participants were rural or urban hospitals in the United States. Main outcome measures: The dependent variables were selected from the American Hospital Association hospital survey questions that are related to community health needs. The independent variable was rural or urban location. Results: Rural hospitals improved more than urban hospitals in addressing community health needs from 1997 through 2006 for most of the indicators, especially in working with other providers to conduct a community health assessment. However, rural hospitals still lag significantly behind urban hospitals in tracking health information. Conclusions: This study suggests that rural hospitals do not lag behind urban hospitals in addressing community health needs. Further research is needed to understand the role of community hospitals in influencing local health delivery system activities regarding the potential community benefits and their impact on improving health of local populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-188
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Journal of Rural Health
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

Keywords

  • Community orientation
  • Health focus and community
  • Hospital survey
  • Longitudinal multivariate method
  • Rural-urban difference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Family Practice

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