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RI DOH Invites Community to Participate in Brief Survey to Improve Healthcare in Rhode Island

In an initiative aligned with statewide efforts to strengthen Rhode Island's healthcare system and ensure access to affordable, high-quality health services for all Rhode Islanders, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RI DOH) invites community members to participate in a new online survey about their experiences with healthcare services. This survey, which is open to all Rhode Islanders age 18 and older, is part of a comprehensive evaluation of health services to better understand healthcare capacity, utilization, and access to care in Rhode Island. The survey is also available in Spanish.

"As we work to make our healthcare system stronger and more efficient, we need to make sure we address the health priorities and needs of Rhode Islanders," said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH. "We know that people are busy, so we've designed this survey to take less than five minutes. We want to hear from as many Rhode Islanders as we can so we can focus our work in the most effective ways."

Recently, RI DOH sent a series of legislatively-mandated, targeted surveys to healthcare facilities and practices across the state, ranging from primary care practices to nursing facilities and hospitals. While the Department regularly conducts surveys on a wide range of public health topics, this is the first time that the State has conducted such an extensive assessment of Rhode Island's healthcare delivery system, including patient experiences.

"We are at a critical crossroad in planning for the future of healthcare in our state," said Health and Human Services Secretary Elizabeth Roberts. "Rhode Islanders are fortunate to benefit from nationally-recognized clinicians and clinical services. But how we utilize, pay for, and potentially expand healthcare services needs to be evaluated in a thoughtful and strategic way. At every level of government, our focus is on improving outcomes and quality, as well as ensuring predictability and value for businesses and taxpayers."

In the coming months, RI DOH will produce a report that incorporates feedback from all of the groups surveyed. One purpose for this report will be to guide the Department and its advisors through the review of Certificate of Need (CON) applications. When a licensed healthcare facility wants to begin offering a clinical service it has not offered before, the Certificate of Need process is designed to prevent unnecessary duplication of expensive medical services and equipment. Rhode Islanders can access the survey at www.health.ri.gov.

Another way that Rhode Islanders can also share their experiences and ideas for improving healthcare during two community listening sessions this September. The listening sessions will inform the work of Governor Gina M. Raimondo's Working Group for Healthcare Innovation, which is charged with identifying ways to improve patient care and health outcomes and lower cost across Rhode Island's healthcare system, and supporting and coordinating healthcare reform efforts across the state.

For more information about the Healthcare Innovation initiative and a schedule of community listening sessions, see www.governor.ri.gov/initiatives/healthcare

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