Last week, The Lakeland Times released the results of an expanded health care survey available to the Lakeland area earlier this month. The survey was part of an effort to gain information about the public's opinions and experiences with local health care.
In analyzing the data, we found a large number of surveys were taken from 10 Internet protocol (IP) addresses listed as coming from the city of Marshfield. In the article, we pointed out this was interesting because several questions on the survey related to Marshfield Clinic, who has proposed adding a hospital to the Lakeland area.
Bill Melms, the regional medical director with Marshfield Clinic, acknowledges the organization has 10 IP addresses ending in the digits reported with the article. Melms listed the organization's full IP addresses and The Times verified they are the same.
Melms stressed the IP addresses can appear from Marshfield even if the computer is in a different city.
"We, the administration here, spoke with our IT department and those 10 IP addresses represent all 11,000 of the computers throughout Marshfield Clinic," Melms said. "Anybody who has a Marshfield Clinic computer."
Marshfield Clinic spans northcentral Wisconsin and according to Melms, clinic administration suspects the spike in respondents using those addresses, 158 respondents in total, are employees from the Minocqua area.
"The probability is they came from our employees in Minocqua and Woodruff," Melms said. "Our employees have been very supportive of the hospital project."
Melms added the Marshfield Clinic administration is very appreciative of the support of their employees on the matter.
Jessica Leighty may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.