A community health needs assessment (CHNA) 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.
CHNAs may be conducted by a variety of organizations. Each Critical Access Hospital (CAH) must conduct a CHNA
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 every five years. Many methods exist for
conducting an assessment, but generally include:
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 CAHs identified several different health needs through the 2014-2016 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:
Health workforce (e.g., physician and provider recruitment/retention, specialists)
To view and compare individual communities’ identified needs, click on the map below.
CHNA 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 CHNA reports, strategic
implementation reports, and CHIPs, see the Individual
Hospital CHNA Reports and Implementation Strategies.