Article Title

Community Health Needs Assessments: Filling Data Gaps for Population Health Research and Management


Introduction: Community health needs assessments (CHNA) are completed to meet varied regulatory and statutory requirements for local public health departments, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) hospitals, and Federally Qualified Health Centers. Although compliance is a motivating factor, these entities are committed to understanding the communities they serve and to developing strategies to address health needs and inequities in health and health care.

Filling Data Gaps: CHNAs have the potential to improve the health of communities and populations by giving crucial qualitative and quantitative context to hospital and patient data, thereby enhancing opportunities for health services and clinical outcomes researchers. Filling in these data gaps can help to improve population health by highlighting community and social determinant-related dynamics relevant to the improved health of the community.

CHNAs and EHRs for Population Health: Successful models exist that that have used CHNAs and the resulting data to improve population health management and reduce inequities, as do health systems that have used the EHR and community-based performance measurement data to achieve population health goals.