Community assessment refers to an organized evaluation of the health status of a particular community or population in the society. Community health assessment is a very important process because it can help in identifying the health needs of the community before coming up with appropriate strategies to address them. It is a systematic process that is done by following a well-outlined procedure. There are many steps involved in community health assessment.
The first step in the assessment is the creation of the assessment team. Here, the team of experts and personnel involved in the assessment process is established and assembled together. It is necessary to do so because no assessment can be conducted without having a well organized team. Once it has been established, the team members should be properly inducted and trained on the tasks, roles, and responsibilities to undertake during the assessment (Schifferdecker, et al., 2016).
The second step in the community health assessment is the identification and provision of resources that will be utilized during the activity. An assessment is a complex activity that requires adequate resources. A lot of resources such as money, assets, and other supplies should be utilized during the assessment period. For example, to study the health indicators of a community, tools like video recorders, stationery, voice recorders, mobile phones, and vehicles might be used (Krist, et al., 2016). Therefore, before rolling out the exercise, it is advisable to identify and search for all the necessary resources that will help in the process.
The third step in the community health assessment is the identification and involvement of the local community partners. Community participation is an important activity that should not be overlooked when engaging in a health assessment initiative. It is important for the local community members to be actively involved in the process because of different reasons. Apart from health issues affecting them, the community members can help in providing useful information on how the issues can be addressed (McKenzie, et al., 2016). At the same time, the involvement of community participation can guarantee the success of the process because it can be accepted and approved by the community.
The fourth step in the community health assessment is the gathering, and analysis of the data. Once all the prerequisite preparations are made, the next thing to do is to engage in the collection of data. To do so, a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods can be applied to help in collecting the community demographic profile data pertaining to income, education, culture, ethnicity, age, and gender (Morse, 2016). After the collection of the data, it should be analyzed using the most appropriate instruments before it is eventually presented to the target audience.
The fifth step in the community health assessment is the setting of health priorities. As already hinted, the major aim of the community health assessment is to identify and resolve the health issues that affect the community. Therefore, after the collection and analysis of data, the next thing to do is to come up with viable strategies that can be applied to solve the problem. Here, all the issues will have to be tabled and addressed in order of priority. Prioritization is important at this stage because each problem should be handled depending on the magnitude of the threat posed to the community (Clark, et al., 2016). The prioritization of the needs will be achieved by consulting the community members who have a sound knowledge of the health issues affecting them.
The sixth step in the community health assessment is the clarification of the health issues identified during the assessment process. Since the major aim of the assessment is to identify and resolve the heath issues affecting the community, it is important for the personnel involved in the process to explain more about it. When the data collection and analysis process is completed, the involved parties, authorities, and the community members should be informed on the progress (Eldredge, et al., 2016). Clarification is important because it equips the parties with accurate updates on the health issues and recommendations made after the assessment.
The seventh step in the community health assessment is the setting of goals and evaluation of the progress. Here, the assessment team has to assemble together and come up with realistic goals that should be met at the very end of the assessment. Goal setting is a core activity in the assessment procedure because it can help in ensuring that everything is conducted objectively. It can make the team to be committed and focused on accomplishing the target. However, in order t ensures that the goals achieved, each of the steps achieved should be measured (Abildgaard, Saksvik & Nielsen, 2016). This can help in determining the extent to which the goals and objectives are accomplished.
The eighth stage in the community health assessment is the choosing of identification of the implementation strategies to be adopted. When everything is done as outlined here, the next thing to do is to come up with the most suitable strategies to adopt in order to address the health issues affecting the community. This simply means the provision of recommendations to be adopted in order to help the community to deal with the situation (Tu, Humphries & Lear, 2016). Once the recommendations are given, the assessment process should be completed by the development of the community health assessment document before it is eventually availed for implementation.
In conclusion, community health assessment is a noble exercise that should always be undertaken. It is a crucial initiative that can help in the identification of the health challenges as well as coming up with strategies on how to deal with them so as to improve people’s health. However, for it to be a success, the assessment process should be done by following all the procedures beginning with the creation of the assessment team, identification of resources, engagement of community embers, collection & analysis of data, goal setting, evaluation, and development of the community health assessment document.
Abildgaard, J. S., Saksvik, P. Ø., & Nielsen, K. (2016). How to measure the intervention
process? An assessment of qualitative and quantitative approaches to data collection in
the process evaluation of organizational interventions. Frontiers in Psychology, 7.
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Setting Skills Following Participation in Wellness Coaching. American Journal of Health
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Eldredge, L. K. B., et al., (2016). Planning health promotion programs: an intervention mapping
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Krist, A. H., et al., (2016). The impact of behavioral and mental health risk assessments on goal
setting in primary care. Translational behavioral medicine, 6(2), 212-219.
McKenzie, A., et al., (2016). Consumer and community involvement in health and medical
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Morse, J. M. (2016). Mixed method design: Principles and procedures. New York: Routledge.
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management/American College of Healthcare Executives, 61(1), p.44.
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