County residents are being polled on health care

January 03, 1993|By Phyllis Brill | Phyllis Brill,Staff Writer

Upper Chesapeake Health System wants to know what Harford County residents think about the health care they're getting, and it has asked Gallup pollsters to find out.

The private, nonprofit organization that operates Fallston General and Harford Memorial hospitals has contracted Gallup Organization Inc. to telephone 500 households in Harford and lower Cecil counties, said Allan Acton, Upper Chesapeake's vice president for marketing.

Pollsters, who began their calls early last month, are seeking clues to how recognizable various hospital services -- obstetrics, pediatrics, etc. -- are to the public as well as opinions about the specific hospitals that serve area residents.

"We want to know where we are now, as far as meeting the needs of our community, and we want to know how we can meet those needs more sensitively in the future," said Mr. Acton.

He said most the polling is done in the evenings and will continue through early this month.

"We should be getting the results in early February," he said.

Mr. Acton said Upper Chesapeake has contracted Gallup, which is based in Lincoln, Neb., in the past to conduct surveys on women's health services and occupational health services in Harford County.

He said the current poll is unrelated to a study Upper Chesapeake contracted last fall with KPMG Peat Marwick, a strategic planning consulting firm from Chicago, to analyze the health care market in Harford and how the hospitals should fit into it.

Preliminary findings of that study are scheduled to be discussed with Upper Chesapeake's board of directors, senior management and physicians on Jan. 19.

The Upper Chesapeake Health System formed in 1984 as the parent organization of Harford Memorial Hospital and Upper Chesapeake

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