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Needs Assessments

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act imposes new requirements on tax-exempt hospitals. One such requirement is that each hospital must conduct a community health needs assessment at least once every three taxable years and adopt an implementation strategy to appropriately address the needs identified by the assessment. The assessment itself must take into account input from a broad cross-section of the community served by the hospital, including those with special knowledge of or expertise in public health, and be made widely available to the public.

Our Approach

Our research team’s vast experience in conducting needs assessments and program evaluation has resulted in an approach that is extremely cost-effective while delivering exceptional results. With our ability to access key administrative data sets and our vast experience working with those data, we are able to significantly shorten the timelines needed to develop the assessment. By analyzing existing data sources, our approach offers opportunities for longitudinal analysis over multiple years, thus providing key insights into the potential impacts of your community benefit programs. This population-based approach is so useful that the needs assessment will not become just another procedural expense, but serve as an integral part of your hospital or health system’s strategic planning initiatives.

Click here to download a printable PDF Approach to the Community Needs Assessment.

Developing Health Indicators

As interest in health outcomes continues to rise, community indicators have become a widely used tool to measure health status and progress toward attaining these goals.   While Health Indicators provide a vehicle for understanding and addressing community issues from a holistic perspective, current efforts seem to suffer from two shortcomings:  a notable absence of local-level data and end user “information overload”  whereby the presentation of numerous and often disconnected indicators result in difficulties drawing meaningful conclusions from the analysis.  Our approach is based on providing Health Indicators at the community-level to facilitate greater utilization and understanding of the analysis across the community.  Through this process we typically develop two types of measures:

  1. Established Indicators: Because baseline values are typically available, we begin with Established Measures. This enables stakeholders to understand and monitor the extent to which community health needs are being met relative to other areas of the state and nation. Then, these important metrics can be used later to provide comparisons for assessing program outcomes and as part of the community benefit analysis. 
  2. Developmental Indicators:  Developmental Indicators typically have no state or national baseline data, but may be of particular interest to local stakeholders. Developmental Indicators address locally important subjects that should be invested in to measure their impact for subsequent community health needs assessments.

Click here to download a printable PDF Sample Community Health Indicator developed for a recent health needs assesment conducted for Haskell Memorial Hospital in Haskell, Texas.