Step 6: Document and Communicate Results
Share the results of your assessment with both internal and external audiences. This step provides an opportunity for the many participating organizations and the community at large to see the final product. It serves as a reference point for future discussions and planning strategies to address community health needs.
Publish the CHA process and results
Write and publish a public report documenting the process and findings of the community health assessment (CHA). The report should include:
- A description of the service area and community served
- A description of the processes and methods
- Identification of all organizations or any other third parties that collaborated or assisted
- A description of how your hospital solicited and took into account input from the community
- The process for identifying and prioritizing needs, including prioritization criteria
- A prioritized list of health needs and a description of those priority health needs
- Potentially available resources and strategic measures to address priority needs
- An evaluation of impact for strategies implemented since the last assessment, if available
o Includes a description of the underserved, low-income and minority populations represented
o Includes names and qualifications of all persons/organizations involved in data collection and analysis
Present material in an accessible way
A written document representing your CHA process and results allows information to be shared with the community. Involving stakeholders during development allows them to provide valuable insights about how to present the information (e.g., length of document, language level, acronym use, font size, balance and use of pictures vs. words), what format to use (e.g., written, audio), if the document needs be translated into another language and which forms of communication would best reach the community.
Epidemiological data may be particularly challenging for community members to interpret. Presenting data in a clear yet comprehensive way can enable discussion and interest in community health improvement. Tips for organizing and presenting data include:
- Organize data, surveys, and findings based on topics/headings.
- Use graphs, maps, photos, tables and charts when necessary and applicable to the data.
- Select appropriate graphics or visualizations to display findings.
- Identify ways to present data that highlight health disparities.
- Use descriptive labels on all graphs and tables.
- Try to tell a story with the data.
Publicizing CHA results
Publicizing the results of the CHA raises awareness about the health issues affecting the community served and promotes engagement and conversation between your hospital, partners and potential collaborators. The CHA can be publicized through various channels to gain a larger audience, such as:
- Websites of your hospital, partnering organizations, businesses and other stakeholders
- Social media accounts of your hospital, partnering organizations, businesses and other stakeholders
- Press releases in print, online and broadcast media
- Distribution of copies of your CHA in print and online format in and out of the hospital
- Email blasts of your hospital, partnering organizations, businesses and other stakeholders
- Newsletters of your hospital, partnering organizations, businesses and other stakeholders
- School ListServs
- Issue briefs
- Links to key findings on websites of local health departments, hospitals and community organizations
The CHA document can also serve as a repository of community assets by including a list of resources related to the identified health needs. Consider linking to websites of community resources and to upcoming health education and promotion events.
Develop a tracking system to assess how many individuals accessed your CHA through all forms of distribution. This will help determine which method drives the most interest and whether there are populations who are not receiving the information.
Engage the hospital and community around CHA results
Present the report to both internal and external audiences, such as staff members, patients, key stakeholders, collaborating partners and community organizations and residents to stimulate dialogue and comments on the assessment process and outcome. This can be done by:
- Conducting meetings with community members to gather their input on the CHA results
- Providing oral presentations about the CHA report in public meetings to promote more interaction and engagement
- Discussing the CHA findings with hospital staff members to raise awareness about health needs and other health issues in the community and workforce
- Providing takeaways on the identified health issues for hospital staff to implement in their personal and professional lives
A robust community discussion of the CHA results can open the opportunity for fostering partnerships around implementation strategies and future assessments.