HPOE/HRET/AHA Guides

Applying Research Principles to the Community Health Needs Assessment Process

As nonprofit hospitals in the U.S. complete a community health needs assessments (CHNA) process, CHNA developers can strengthen the CHNA’s rigor and impact by applying a research lens to the process. This work includes embedding research tools and principles into the CHNA process and applying guidance from existing evidence-based research to address priority health needs.

This guide, released by the Health Research & Educational Trust with support from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, focuses on applying research principles to the CHNA process. The guide:

  • identifies tools and research principles to support CHNAs;
  • describes patient- and community-centered practices to integrate into data collection during the CHNA process; and
  • provides direction for identifying evidence-based resources to inform CHNA implementation strategies.

By strategically applying research principles, techniques and results in the CHNA process, hospitals and health systems can make progress toward achieving their goal of fostering a healthier community where all individuals can reach their highest potential for health.

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