MaineHealth has released its eighth annual Health Index Report, a trusted barometer of progress on seven high-priority population health issues that impact the health status and of people and communities across the state of Maine. These priority issues include: childhood immunizations, tobacco use, obesity, preventable hospitalizations, cardiovascular deaths, cancer deaths, and prescription drug abuse and addiction.
In 2016, MaineHealth leaders set aggressive targets for each of the Health Index priorities as a way to challenge MaineHealth organizations to continue their work toward our vision of “working together so our communities are the healthiest in America.” The 2017 Health Index Report indicates that MaineHealth and our partners continue to make progress on the short-term targets for each priority health issue, which in turn will have a positive impact on long-term progress.
“The key to moving ahead on these priorities is partnerships,” said Deborah Deatrick, MaineHealth’s senior vice president for community health improvement. “Whether it’s partnerships between hospitals and schools, government public health agencies and health systems, or other unique collaborations – there are so many great examples of how we are making Maine a healthier state by working together.”
Key findings from the 2017 Health Index Report include:
- On-time childhood vaccination rates are the highest to date across MaineHealth pediatric and family medicine practices. After remaining at 55 percent for months between January 2016 and April 2017, the MaineHealth system’s up-to-date rate for the 10-vaccine bundle1 steadily increased to 58 percent as of December 2017.
- MaineHealth providers significantly increased referrals to the Maine Tobacco HelpLine. The total number of tobacco users referred in 2017 was 30 percent higher than in 2015 and 45 percent higher than in 2016.
- More patients are getting screened for colorectal cancer. The percentage of patients at primary care practices within the MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization who had appropriate screening for colorectal cancer rose from 65 percent in December 2016 to 74 percent as of December 2017.
- MaineHealth increased the number of adult primary care practice teams trained on the new adult obesity standard of care. Based on 10 years of successfully implementing strategies to reduce childhood obesity, Let’s Go! developed the Small Steps program to address adult obesity.
- MaineHealth has responded to the state of Maine having had the fifth largest increase in drug overdose deaths in the nation (comparing rates from 2011-2013 to 2014-2016). The MaineHealth system has decreased the number of patients prescribed high-risk levels of opioids and increased the number of patients receiving treatment for opioid use disorder.
New this year, the Health Index Initiative has developed expanded summaries about the clinical, community and policy actions being undertaken to address each priority. This new section within the MaineHealth website features descriptions of the strategies being implemented as well data and graphics presenting progress, all designed to help users access and use the information to accelerate adoption of evidence-based and best practice interventions that will ultimately improve individual and community health.
To read the 2017 Health Index Report and explore the latest data, visit MaineHealth.org/HealthIndex.
1The 10-vaccine bundle includes the 10 vaccines recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To be considered up-to-date on all 10 vaccines, a 2-year-old child must have received 24+ doses within the time frames established in the CDC’s immunization schedule.
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