Governments across Australia are faced with rising demands for health care, limited resources and increasing inequalities in health. Community health Needs Assessment has a central part to play, enabling practitioners, managers and policy-makers to identify those in greatest need and to ensure that health care resources are used to maximize health improvement. It is a vital health care planning tool to be used at the level of families, communities and populations. This document describes the ways in which Community Needs Assessment can identify priority health needs, target resources to address inequalities and involve local people. The process of undertaking Health Needs Assessment is described and the important contribution of nurses explored.
Family health Nurse’s play a key role in addressing the needs of the family within the context of the community. Community Health Practitioners play a role throughout the life course and along the entire health–illness continuum, with particular reference to the needs of the most vulnerable groups in society. Those within the Community Medical field base their practice on primary health care and public health principles. To enable them to carry out this role effectively and to plan their work accordingly, they need to have a thorough understanding of the community and its needs. To this end, they will need to be competent to undertake community, individual and family needs assessment. This document explains a comprehensive tool to assist the family health nurse in accomplishing that.
Community health needs assessment is a process that describes the state of health of local people and enables the identification of the major risk factors and causes of ill health. A community needs assessment also enables the identification of the actions needed to address these. A community health needs assessment is not a one-off activity but a developmental process that is added to and amended over time. It is not an end in itself but a way of using information to plan health care and public health programmes in the future. Within a community needs assessment it should be made sure that a holistic approach is taken by including the following, a Patients’ perception of their needs, along with the views of carers and family members, social and psychological needs as well as physical needs. Wider factors, positive and negative, that influence health, fro example. housing, income, employment. It is also important that this framework follows a process of assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation/reassessment. A community needs assessment is a way of gathering information about a community’s opinions, needs, challenges, and assets used to determine which project(s) will meet the real needs of the community. Communities are continuously changing socially, culturally and , economically therefore programs and policies need to evolve and recognize these changes so they are still relevant. Undertaking a Community Needs Assessment is beneficial to see what community is like, the characteristics of people, types of values, beliefs, goals, concerns, and problems. Through an assessment people learn more about a situation and feel they have a voice in the outcome.
Community health needs assessment is a process that describes the state of health of local people and enables the identification of the major risk factors and causes of ill health and...