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.
Most Recent Publications
North Dakota’s Significant Health Needs as Identified by Community Health Needs Assessments
Summarizes and shows results of health needs identified by rural and urban communities in North Dakota through focus groups and community surveys.Author(s): Gibbens, B.
Date: January 2017
Type: Fact Sheet
- Conducting Community Health Needs Assessments in Rural Communities
Article addresses the lessons learned in conducting community health needs assessments and discusses the Rural Community Group Model for conducting assessments.Author(s): Becker, Karin L.
Publication: Health Promotion Practice, 16(1), 15-19
Date: January 2015
Type: Journal Article
- Around the World in Rural North Dakota
Center for Rural Health staff members have driven enough miles to nearly travel around the earth at the equator – all without leaving North Dakota. They are conducting Community Health Needs Assessments to help focus rural health efforts on identified needs.Author(s): Massmann, N.
Publication: North Dakota Medicine, 39(2), 18-19
Date: June 2014
- Testimony to the North Dakota Healthcare Reform Review Committee
Brad Gibbens provided an overview of the Community Health Needs Assessment requirement under the Affordable Care Act to the North Dakota Healthcare Reform Review Committee.Author(s): Gibbens, B.
Date: March 2014
- Emerging Health Trends in North Dakota: Community Health Needs Assessments Aggregate Data Report
Full report showing results of the Community Health Needs Assessments conducted by the Center for Rural Health for Critical Access Hospitals in North Dakota.Author(s): Becker, K.
Date: September 2013