Needs assessment. Describe how the organization assesses the health care needs of the communities it serves.

DISCUSSION: This question is an important opportunity to demonstrate how the hospital determines the needs of its community.

The hospital has participated in needs assessment surveys consistently during the past 15 years with the city and other organizations to determine the ongoing needs of the community. From those surveys, the need for assisted living facilities, behavior health services and the expansion of home care services have been determined, to name a few, and the hospital has added those services to meet needs. Ongoing community meetings and forums sponsored by the hospital also take place to receive input from the service area for community medical needs.

The health system retains outside research firms every two to four years to assess changes in the market and community perception. Data is collected through a variety of vehicles, including phone surveys, paper surveys, and focus groups. Questions were added to the study to help assess the impact of our community benefit activities and residents' barriers to access for health care services as well as unmet community needs. Adults in the community were recruited to participate in a series of focus groups, each with a different target audience including at risk and underserved populations; mixed income/mixed gender, Latino, seniors. Paper surveys were also mailed to 500 random households in two other cities in the county. An abbreviated version of the mailed survey was posted online and linked to the website to increase participation.

The hospital continually works with community partners to assess the health needs of the community. It is a sponsoring partner of a community collaborative convened by the local public health department to assess, address and monitor health needs of the county. Through a planned and organized effort, the collaborative develops a health agenda by identifying specific health priorities that are relevant to the community. It works collectively to address the priorities by tapping the resources of the community. The hospital actively contributes to this process and engages in the identified priorities that match its mission and capacity. XXX also participates as part of the United Way community impact committee. This group actively addresses needs and strategies associated with health. More specifically, this group often focuses on the social determinants of health and how to impact them in the effort to raise the community health status. This wide based collaborative provides opportunities for XXX to engage in various areas of service to the community that may be outside of its typical expertise but within its existing resources. In addition to these organized community efforts, XXX continually monitors community needs specific to its service lines and the resources it can tap to address them.

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