Interactive Online Tool Streamlines the Community Health Needs Assessment Process

The CHNA Guide™ from Healthy Communities Institute Provides Health Planners with Simple Step-by-Step Instructions, Tips, and Data for Completing Their Assessment

BERKELEY, Calif. —December 16, 2014— Healthy Communities Institute (HCI), the leader in community-based population health intelligence, today added a key new feature to its flagship HCI Platform: The CHNA Guide.

The new tool was developed specifically to assist hospitals, health departments, and other healthcare organizations charged with the arduous task of conducting community health needs assessments, or CHNAs.  The CHNA Guide provides an interactive step-by-step approach for them to identify at-risk populations in their service areas and then design strategies, plans, and programs to address prioritized needs.

Non-profit hospitals will especially find value in the CHNA Guide to assist in complying with regulations in the Affordable Care Act. Since 2012, they have been required to conduct a CHNA every three years and prepare an associated Implementation Strategy detailing how they are addressing identified needs, Both must be filed with their IRS 990 Schedule H to protect their non-profit status.

“In most cases, community benefit departments were forced to absorb this responsibility,” said Deryk Van Brunt, President of HCI. “Often there was a great deal of uncertainty in uncharted territory and despite heroic efforts, many experienced a significant amount of inefficacy and confusion. As the next wave in the 3-year cycle of the assessments approaches, we saw that our expertise and technology could be immensely helpful in systematizing their approach,” he added.

The CHNA Guide simplifies all CHNA process activity into three areas: Assess, Prioritize, and Design.  Within each area, health  planners are stepped through instructions for completing the requirements, along with examples, tips, and expert advice from HCI’s team of public health and research professionals.  Integrated throughout the Guide are links to efficient tools and essential data available on the HCI Platform, along with access to thousands of evidence-based programs to pair with an organization’s prioritized needs.

“Simplifying the complex steps of conducting a needs assessment into an easy-to-use interactive tool makes the CHNA Guide helpful for any stage of the process,” noted Florence Reinisch, Senior Vice President of Strategy at HCI. She added, “In addition to hospitals and community-based collaboratives, health departments will also find the tool valuable in support of their community and state health improvement projects—CHIPs and SHIPs.”

The CHNA Guide is an include feature of the HCI Platform and available to all Healthy Communities Institute clients.

About the Healthy Communities Institute

Headquartered in Berkeley, Calif., the Healthy Communities Institute (HCI) provides the leading web-based platform to support health departments, community collaborations, hospitals and health systems with population health and community health improvement strategies. The web-based HCI Platform provides health indicator dashboards, access to thousands of nationally recognized promising practices, analytic and reporting tools and other features that support planning, evaluation and reporting. The platform is now used in over 35 states and covers over 100 million lives across the United States. The company’s multi-disciplinary team is comprised of healthcare information technology veterans, academicians, health informatics experts, epidemiologists, urban planners and Internet developers. HCI began its work in 2002 in concert with the growth of the Healthy Cities Movement co-founded at the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact Information:
Robert Murphy