Over the past decade, there has been an increased understanding among policy-makers, public officials, and providers of the importance of developing broad system-wide plans that guide how public and provider agencies and service providers should work collectively to strengthen regional health systems.
The District of Columbia’s (DC) State Health Planning and Development Agency (SHPDA) is responsible for developing a comprehensive Health Systems Plan (HSP). The primary purpose of the plan is to serve as a roadmap for the development of a comprehensive, accessible, equitable health care system capable of providing the highest quality services in a cost effective manner to those who live and work in DC. The HSP is informed by a comprehensive needs assessment that clarifies community need, barriers to care, unmet service need, provider capacity, and service gaps across all health service categories.
The Statewide Health Coordinating Council (SHCC), which is a representative body of community stakeholders, will also use this Health Systems Plan to guide the District of Columbia’s Certificate of Need (CoN) program; the HSP will be a source of information and guidance to help determine if CoN applications show public health value. This HSP will also be used to: (1) prioritize and promote certain community need- or service-related issues for investment, (2) clarify issues related to community characteristics, community need, barriers to care, existing service gaps, unmet need, and other health-related factors, and (3) guide a more refined, data driven, objective application review process.
The JSI project team supported all aspects of the assessment and planning, including secondary data (hospital discharge data, claims data, and other health status data) collection and analysis, key informant interviews, and a provider survey with a broad array of health system stakeholders. JSI, 2017.