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Community Health Needs Assessment

What is a Community Health Needs Assessment?

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:

  • Stakeholder meetings
  • Community focus groups
  • Surveys
  • 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:

  • Behavioral health
  • Mental health
  • Health workforce (e.g., physician and provider recruitment/retention, specialists)
  • Obesity/overweight

To view and compare individual communities’ identified needs, click on the map below.

hospital map

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.