Your Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) can be seen as a compliance exercise: a project to be completed, filed, and forgotten until the next requirement. Or it can be a strategic document that outlines how an organization can better use its resources, better serve the community, and maximize its return on investment (ROI).
Recognizing the value of a CHNA on your concurrent Population Health Management (PHM) strategies will allow you to realize a significant return from the time, effort, and expense invested in a CHNA.
"A strategically focused CHNA can benefit both the community and the bottom line. It can also help an organization plan and prepare for future healthcare delivery by identifying high-risk populations and predicting health needs that will affect future programs and resources."
In short, a strategic CHNA can help:
To gather a full picture of community health needs and maximize the value of your CHNA, healthcare providers should integrate patient utilization data into the CHNA to show the intersection between service delivery gaps and community health needs.
CHNA quantitative data typically incudes:
These public data can be augmented with internal data, including:
Combining these data sources helps healthcare providers gain a deeper understanding of:
Correlating internal and external data points can demonstrate ROI to support community health programs and guide resource allocation. For example, examining utilization trends may reveal whether a school-based asthma initiative in a low-income neighborhood reduced ED visits.
To further understand behaviors behind health statistics, qualitative research can be gathered through discussions, surveys, focus groups, and interviews with healthcare consumers and other community stakeholders. Focus groups with diabetic patients, for instance, can pinpoint challenges and motivational factors that can inform patient engagement initiatives that ultimately improve chronic disease management and patient outcomes.
As healthcare providers move toward value-based payment models and away from fee for service, CHNA research helps decision-makers determine what population risks they are exposed to and identify potentially beneficial partners in a risk-sharing model.
Strategic community partnerships allow hospitals to better manage high-risk populations by meeting patients’ social needs in addition to their healthcare needs. No single healthcare organization has the capacity and expertise to meet all the demands of high-risk populations; collectively, healthcare partnerships can ensure positive outcomes for patients.
Questions a strategic CHNA should answer
Baker Tilly’s CHNA team has conducted CHNAs for more than 100 hospital and health systems, from standalone hospitals to multi-state systems. We’ll ensure that your CHNA research aligns with your strategic initiatives and that findings support ongoing PHM planning.
Even if you’ve already begun or completed your CHNA, Baker Tilly can help your organization use CHNA findings to evaluate internal capacity and processes to predict and meet the future needs of your community to improve population health and your bottom line.
Though implementation of a population health strategy is complex, Baker Tilly brings the depth of experience necessary to guide organizations through this process with services that include:
Your previous CHNA may have been a “check the box” compliance task, with hundreds of pages of data and only a few pages of strategic planning; Baker Tilly can help you integrate your data into a robust, ongoing PHM strategy.