Document and Communicate the Results
Frequent communication about your CHA progress, including sharing drafts, helps ensure external and internal support over time for successful community health programs and strategies. This step provides an opportunity for the many participating organizations and the community at large to confirm their input was incorporated and to sustain engagement for the final assessment and subsequent implementation strategies.
Publish the CHA Process and Results
Write and publish a public report documenting the process and findings of the community health assessment.
The report includes:
- A description of the service-area community served, including populations dealing with sustained hardship(s) and historically marginalized communities
- The names and qualifications of all persons and organizations involved in data collection and analysis
- 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 included input from the community
- The process for identifying and prioritizing needs, including priority-setting 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 the impact of strategies implemented since the last assessment, if available
Present Material in an Accessible Way
Stakeholder involvement along the way will help ensure your published CHA will be accessible and understandable to your audiences. Population health data, in particular, can be challenging for community members to interpret. Presenting data in a clear yet comprehensive way can fuel discussion and interest in community health improvement.
Ideas for organizing and presenting data include:
- Organizing data, surveys and findings based on topics/headings.
- Using graphs, maps, photos, tables and charts when necessary and applicable to the data.
- Selecting appropriate graphics or visualizations to display findings.
- Identifying ways to present data that highlight health disparities.
- Using descriptive labels on all graphs and tables.
- Telling a story with the data.
Show an understanding of audience in communication choices.
Displaying an understanding of your audience and using good formatting can play important roles in documenting and communicating your CHA results. Consider the following important elements:
- Communications medium or channel
- Length and format
- Font size
- Accessibility for screen readers used by blind/visually impaired community members
- Balance of text to graphics/art (including alt text descriptions for images used)
- Cultural accessibility of the report
- Translation as needed to preferred languages of your community members
Publicize CHA Results
Publicizing your CHA findings raises awareness about the health issues affecting the community served and promotes engagement and conversation among your hospital, partners and potential collaborators. (A CHNA, specifically, must be made widely available to the public to meet IRS requirements.)
In addition, the CHA can serve as a repository of community assets by including a list of resources related to the identified health needs. This list also can provide links to websites of community resources and upcoming health education and promotion events. Tracking the individuals accessing your CHA through all forms of distribution will help determine which method drives the most interest and whether there are populations who are not receiving the information.
- 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 CHA copies in print and online formats, 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 email lists
- Issuing briefs
- Links to findings on websites of local health departments, hospitals and community organizations
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 outcomes. A robust community discussion of the CHA results can create the opportunity for fostering partnerships around implementation strategies and future assessments.
This can be done by:
- Hosting dialogues with community members to gather their input on the CHA results.
- Presenting CHA findings and priorities in public meetings to promote more interaction and engagement.
- Discussing the CHA findings with hospital staff members to raise awareness of community needs-associated health disparities and other health issues — including root causes — in the community and workforce.
- Providing takeaways on the identified health issues for hospital teams to implement in their personal and professional lives.