More about the Community Checkup

What is the Community Checkup?

The Community Checkup is health care information that doctors are sharing with the public. The information shows how well doctors’ offices, hospitals and patients are doing to help patients have good control over their heart disease or diabetes.

The data on the website allows you to compare doctors’ offices and hospitals’ results relating to, but not limited to:

  • blood pressure
  • blood sugar levels
  • LDL cholesterol levels
  • Percentages of patients being prescribed a daily aspirin or aspirin alternative
  • Percentages of patients having their body mass index checked

Does the Community Checkup tell which doctors’ offices are better and which ones are worse?

This report shows that together, some doctors, practices and their patients perform better than others in specific areas. It also shows that there is room for improvement. A judgment of which practice or doctor is better cannot be made by only considering the small amount of information in this report. To achieve the best results, the health care team and patient need to work together as partners.

How can this information be used?

  • Patients: Learn what type of tests you should be receiving based on your condition, and use this to better partner with your doctor.
  • Doctors: Learn from each other and see how your practice is doing compared to other practices.
  • Employers: Review and share this information with employees to help make sure their benefits cover the basic needs and encourage healthy behaviors.
  • Health Plans: Develop ways to make important services and education available to members.

What should patients ask their doctor?

Patients may want to ask their doctor about the results from the practice they visit, and how the physician can help to improve those results. This report can help patients become a better partner with their doctor. Specific questions that patients might ask are:

  • Am I receiving the right tests at the right time?
  • What things can I do to monitor my health condition?
  • Are we following the standards of care for my condition? If not, what do I need to do?
  • Have you made any changes to improve the quality of care for your patients?

What does it mean if the website states,
“Doctor or practice didn’t participate”?

If the website states that the doctor or practice didn’t participate, it means the doctor or practice was given the opportunity, but chose not to participate for their own reason(s).

What if the practice, doctor or hospital
isn’t listed at all?

Primary care practices are not required to submit the data. It is submitted voluntarily. The data is self-reported, and gathered from a random sample of patients’ charts from the participating practice.

Some doctors, physician assistants or certified nurse practitioners aren’t permitted to participate because they don’t work more than 20 hours a week, or they haven’t been employed for at least a year. These individuals are given an exemption and are not posted on the site at all.

How is the doctors’ office data collected,
and how often?

South Central Preferred collects the data from primary care practices and sends the final reports and results to the doctors before the data is posted on the website. No personal information that could identify patients or individual physicians is shared outside the doctors’ offices or South Central Preferred.

The data is collected twice a year. Visitors are able to compare past years' results, as well as the national and community averages.

What is the criteria and guidelines for
submitting data?

A team of doctors from four Adams and York County health care systems selected the criteria. The criteria was reviewed and approved by national organizations such as the National Committee for Quality Assurance and the National Quality Forum. The evidence-based guidelines and supporting medical literature are given to participating York and Adams counties’ practices and hospitals. As part of the guidelines, doctors identify all patients in their practice who have the chronic condition being analyzed, and submit the data to later be reported.

Who collects the hospital data?

The Pennsylvania Health Care Quality Alliance collects the data from Gettysburg, York, Memorial, and Hanover Hospitals.

What type of information do the hospitals report on?

Visitors can look at each hospital individually, or do a comparison among the four. The data focuses on the care of patients with various conditions, such as, but not limited to, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and pneumonia.

What is a benchmark?

A benchmark is a point of reference against which things may be compared or assessed. For the Community Checkup, it’s a way to show how well doctor’s offices are giving care and how well patients are participating in their care. For example, having 70 percent (70 out of 100 patients had a particular test done) may not seem like a good number, but if most of the practices are at 40 percent, then a practice at 70 percent is doing much better. Doctors’ offices and patients should strive to be above the national and community benchmarks.

What benchmarks are used in the
Community Checkup?

Both community and national benchmarks are used in the Community Checkup. The community benchmark is the average of all the practices in the area who reported on any given indicator. The national benchmarks for Diabetes were selected from NCQA (National Committee for Quality Assurance) 2007 and 2008 State of Health Care Quality Reports. The Heart Disease national benchmarks were selected from NCQA's 2007 Heart Stroke Recognition Program.

How can my practice participate in the
Community Checkup?

To participate, please contact Chris Amy at camy@wellspan.org.

Community Checkup

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