Community Health Needs Assessment

Work with us to set a course toward value-based payment and population health. A thorough assessment of your community's needs is the crucial first step.
Magnifying glass over a rural street.

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.

CHNAs are an opportunity to learn. They present hospitals with a chance to reach out to and connect with community members and partner organizations, to discover how they rate the health of their community, and to understand what they identify as their region’s key health issues and opportunities.

CHNAs are an opportunity to advance health equity. Health equity means everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be healthier — 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 Health Innovations has partnered with rural hospitals across the country as they complete the CHNA process. Our unique and rural-tailored approach to CHNAs delivers clear findings, focused planning, and continued support as hospitals and their community partners implement solutions. We do the behind-the-scenes work so hospital staff can remain focused on the frontlines, providing needed care in the community.

Two packages of CHNA services are available:

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


Our CHNA Services Include:

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 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 sources of data 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 Stakeholder Interviews

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

Presentation of Findings

Our team will deliver a report — detailing our findings from the survey, secondary data analysis, and focus group sessions and key stakeholder interviews — to your hospital’s leadership and community health staff, and other key community partners. The virtual session will include time to ask questions and begin a conversation about our key findings.

Implementation Planning with Quarterly Coaching Support

Finally, we’ll help you begin the process of translating your community assessment results into actionable strategies. We’ll facilitate an implementation planning event — hosted either onsite or as a virtual session — that’s intended to help build consensus on what’s been identified as your community’s health priorities. The event is meant to help you and your key community partners generate a list of strategies and actions that could 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 you work toward developing goals and strategies for improving the health and well-being of your community.

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

RHI has been a great partner, helping with our CHNA and leading us through strategic planning. As a CAH, a partner like RHI can save time and provide national best practices.

Joel Johnson, Vice President of Communications, Star Valley Health, Afton, Wyoming
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