Lessons learned from a hospital-based community health needs assessment in a rural setting
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Objective: The objective of this practice-based project is to provide lessons learned on the challenges of conducting a community health needs assessment in 18 nonprofit hospitals in rural Georgia as recently required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Methods: The PPACA created anxiety among many nonprofit rural hospitals in Georgia because of the financial penalties that would be incurred for noncompliance and the risk of losing nonprofit status as stipulated in the law. The Georgia Department of Community Health, Office of Rural Health, responded to the volume of questions received from these hospitals by requesting the expertise of university-based public health practitioners to assist 18 rural hospitals to fulfill this federal mandate. The needs assessment model toolkit from Oklahoma State University and Oklahoma Office of Rural Health was modified to fit the project. The model required the formation of a steering group and a community advisory committee at each site. Results: The challenges of working with the 18 nonprofit hospitals and communities included clarifying the mandate to reluctant hospital administrators; hospital staff turnover; changing membership of community advisory committee members; communication challenges between hospital staff and the committees; and the community's disregard for the importance of the mandate and willingness to see the broader benefit of the final outcome to the community. Implications: Since all nonprofit hospitals are required to complete a community health needs assessment every three years, understanding the challenges of working with the community may facilitate future collaborations between hospital, community and academic partners.
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe lessons learned on the challenges of conducting a hospital-based community health needs assessment in rural Georgia.
Formulate suggestions on facilitating future community health needs assessment in rural settings in partnership with hospitals, communities and academia.
Keyword(s): Community Health Assessment, Community-Based Partnership
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I'm the project manager and have worked on the development, implementation and evaluation of the project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.