Community Health Needs Assessment
What is a Community Health Needs Assessment?
A community health needs assessment is a systematic process involving the community to identify and analyze
community health needs. The process provides a way for communities to prioritize health needs, and to plan and
act upon unmet community health needs.
Community health needs assessments may be conducted by a variety of organizations. Each Critical Access Hospital
(CAH) must conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment once every three years, as mandated by the Affordable
Care Act. Local public health units seeking to gain or maintain accreditation must conduct a Community Health
Assessment (CHA) every five years. Many methods exist for conducting an assessment, but generally include:
- Stakeholder meetings
- Community focus groups
- Interviews with community leaders
- Population health and other health-related data
Understanding the Significant Healthcare Needs in North Dakota Communities
North Dakota's Critical Access Hospitals identified several different health needs through the 2011-2013
Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) process. Many individual communities selected needs similar to each
other’s as the most significant for their community. The top needs across North Dakota were:
- Healthcare workforce shortage
- Obesity and physical inactivity
- Mental health, including substance abuse
To view and compare individual communities’ identified needs, click on the map below.
Community Health Needs Assessment Reports and Implementation Plans
A hospital prepares a strategic implementation plan as a blueprint for meeting identified needs. A public health
unit prepares a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). For a complete list of community health needs
assessment reports, strategic implementation reports, and CHIPs, see the Individual
Hospital CHNA Reports and Implementation Strategies.
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