Assessing Community Health Care Needs

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Assess the health care needs of a selected community by completing an environmental analysis and a virtual windshield survey. Summarize the results of your assessment in a 2-3 page executive summary.

Introduction

Health care must be evidence-based, effective, efficient, and affordable; it must provide resources that meet the needs of the community. Nurse leaders must understand and thoroughly evaluate the environment to enable the efficient and equitable allocation of resources. A useful tool for this type of assessment is commonly called a windshield survey. Windshield surveys are what you might expect from the name. They are a way of gathering information about specific aspects of a community while driving around, such as the condition of roads, buildings, and housing.

This assessment provides an opportunity to examine the prevailing health conditions and social determinants of health in a community by completing an environmental analysis and a virtual windshield survey based on communities within the Vila Health system. Although Vila Health is a virtual lab, the communities represented in this simulation are real, enabling you to conduct an actual community health assessment.

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Preparation

Executive leaders at Vila Health have asked you to provide them with your assessment of the health conditions in one of the communities served by the Vila Health system. Knowing that a windshield survey is needed to validate any underlying assumptions about the needs of the community and inform evidence-based decision making and strategic planning, you have decided to conduct a first-hand exploration of the community, followed up by an environmental analysis. An environmental analysis examines the factors that can influence the performance of a health care organization, which is important in a rapidly changing health care environment.

To prepare for the assessment, you are encouraged to begin thinking about how an environmental analysis and windshield survey contribute to assessing community health care needs. In addition, you may wish to:

  • Review the assessment requirements and scoring guide to ensure that you understand the work you will be asked to complete.
  • Review Guiding Questions: Assessing Community Health Care Needs [DOCX], which includes questions to consider and additional guidance on how to successfully complete the assessment.

The following resource is required to complete the assessment.

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