Community Health Needs Assessments

Hospitals and health systems that partner with Rural Health Innovations on their CHNAs receive a rural-tailored approach that offers clear findings, focused planning and support to implement solutions that lead to meaningful change.
Diverse, small group of people in discussion

Completing a meaningful community health needs assessment (CHNA) every three years is an IRS requirement for nonprofit hospitals.

But CHNAs are more than just a requirement. They’re also an opportunity.

Download our Community Health Needs Assessment flyer

CHNAs are an opportunity to learn. They allow hospitals and their partners to better understand how community members experience health in their daily lives by examining their community's current health status, and listening to community members speak about their current needs and challenges.

CHNAs are an opportunity to advance health equity. Health equity means everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be healthy — no matter who they are, where they live or how much money they make. To achieve this, hospitals and their partners must first identify the inequities within their community and work collectively to remove obstacles to health. A CHNA is a fundamental tool to uncover and prioritize challenges to overall health.

CHNAs create an opportunity to act. Results from the CHNA process provide hospitals and their community partners with the information needed to design interventions, strategies and new services that can best address their community’s unmet health needs through a community-led collaborative approach.

And CHNAs offer an opportunity to make a difference. The overall goal of CHNAs and the implementation plan that follows is to enhance the health and well-being of a community. Hospitals are one key partner among many to support individual and community well-being.

For more than 30 years, rural hospitals and health systems have trusted Rural Health Innovations' staff to complete effective and meaningful community health needs assessments that improve collaborations with community partners, advance health equity and inform health improvement plans. Our staff's background in clinical practice and public health, coupled with their lived experience in rural communities and work experience in rural health care settings, means they know and understand the realities of rural health and are motivated to help hospitals and their communities adapt and thrive.

Our CHNA Services

Community Survey

Our team will survey your community members to generate a snapshot of what they identify as the area’s needs, challenges and opportunities. We’ll work together with you to customize the questions asked so the data collected is beneficial for your hospital and your community. And then we’ll handle survey distribution and collection, and data summarization. You’ll also receive communication templates that can be used to notify community members about the survey and support a strong response.

Secondary Data Collection

We’ll compile additional data from publicly available sources to gain insights on how your community’s health status — its health outcomes, its health behaviors, its clinical care and other factors — compares with county, state and national figures. 

Focus Group Sessions and Key Informant Interviews

Since listening is one of the best ways to learn about your community’s assets and needs, our experienced facilitators will lead community members in your area — including those from groups who are underrepresented or historically marginalized — in face-to-face focus group sessions and one-on-one interview sessions. We’ll help you identify participants whose voices can offer valuable insights into your community’s current state of health.

Presentation of Findings and Identification of Health Priorities

During a virtual session, our team will share the results of our research — findings from the community survey, secondary data analysis, focus group sessions and key informant interviews — with your organization's leadership and community partners. The session will include time to ask questions and begin a conversation about key findings. We will wrap up the session with a consensus-based workshop that aims to help you and your partners identify priorities of your hospital's implementation plan. 

Implementation Planning with Quarterly Coaching Support

Finally, we’ll help you begin the process of translating the results of your community health needs assessment into a plan for best meeting your community's needs. We’ll facilitate an implementation planning workshop — hosted either on-site or as a virtual session — to help you and your key community partners generate a list of strategies and actions that can be implemented to improve the health and well-being of your community. In addition, quarterly coaching calls are designed to provide ongoing support and guidance as your hospital works toward adopting specific goals and strategies to improve the health and well-being of your community.

CHNA Packages

Two packages of CHNA services are available and allow hospitals and health systems the opportunity to customize options to meet their needs and budget:

  • The Premier Package includes the full range of CHNA services: Community Survey, Secondary Data Collection, Focus Group Sessions and Key Informant Interviews, Presentation of Findings and Identification of Health Priorities, and Implementation Planning with Quarterly Coaching Support.
  • The Basic Package includes all CHNA services, with the exception of the Community Survey.

Customer Testimonials

RHI did a very thorough job conducting our CHNA. Their expertise allowed us to get valuable feedback and they provided excellent guidance on our action plans. The check-in calls after the survey and implementation planning ensured accountability.

Aaron Saude, CEO, Bigfork Valley Hospital, Bigfork, Minnesota

RHI had a great process and they walked us through each piece. The results and data were informative and we've utilized it in a variety of ways, including grant applications and strategic planning.

Jodi Martin, Marketing and Communications Team Leader, Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital, Ely, Minnesota

We appreciate the knowledge and expertise from RHI in assisting in our CHNA completion. ... The information will help our local partners plan the work that can be done to impact health and wellness in our community.

Spokesperson, Hocking Valley Community Hospital, Logan, Ohio
group planning

Next Step: Activate an Implementation Plan

Once you've completed your CHNA process, the next step is to strategically build and carry out a community health implementation plan. We can help with that too.

Get Started

Director of Population Health