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  • Assessment Process Map
  • Core Process Steps
  • Identifying the Team and Resources (Step 1)
  • Obtain leadership support
  • Build the staff team
  • Identify and obtain resources
  • Determine level of community involvement
  • Consider an assessment advisory committee
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  • Defining the Purpose and Scope (Step 2)
  • Identify the users and audience
  • Define the purpose
  • Specify the target population
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  • Collecting and Analyzing Data (Step 3)
  • Determine who will collect and analyze data
  • Collect secondary data
  • Collect primary data - introduction
  • Collect primary data - methods
  • Analyze data
  • Develop a data management process
  • Consider examining community assets
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  • Selecting Priorities (Step 4)
  • Review assessment data
  • Establish criteria for evaluating data
  • Set priorities with a consensus process
  • Validate prioritized needs
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  • Documenting and Communicating Results (Step 5)
  • Organize information for presentation
  • Prepare a written report
  • Publicize assessment findings
  • Consider promoting community dialogue
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  • Planning for Action and Monitoring Progress (Step 6)
  • Conduct research to inform goals and actions
  • Define goals, objectives, and strategies
  • Create and implement the action plan
  • Develop evaluation plan and monitor progress
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  • Additional Links
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Resource Links
  • Case Examples
  • Data Sources (updated 11/2012)
  • Glossary
  • Home
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    Using the Toolkit

    The ACHI Community Health Assessment Toolkit is available to paid members of these groups:

    Members of these groups can log in with their Web site ID and password, in the upper right corner of this page.

    Not a member? Learn about ACHI's benefits and join here.

    ACHI members: Write to assesstoolkit@aha.org or call (312) 422-2193 for log-in assistance.

    AHA members: Write to express@aha.org or call (312) 422-3000.

    Other members: Write to the membership services contact for your group to receive log-in assistance.

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    Welcome to ACHI's Community Health Assessment Toolkit

    The ACHI Community Health Assessment Toolkit is a guide for planning, leading and using community health needs assessments to better understand -- and ultimately improve -- the health of communities. It presents a suggested assessment framework from beginning to end in six steps, and provides practical guidance drawn from experienced professionals and a variety of proven tools.

    The ACHI Community Health Assessment Toolkit includes:

    • Detailed guidance on six core steps of a suggested assessment framework, including but not limited to data collection
    • Step summaries containing task checklists, budget and timeline guides, and the skills useful for conducting an assessment
    • Case examples with a quick reference table to help you find the most appropriate one to your situation
    • Resource links to additional guides, tools and templates at every step
    • Answers to frequently asked questions and access to a peer discussion forum

    Community health needs assessment is both the activity and product of identifying and prioritizing a community's health needs, accomplished through the collection and analysis of data, including input from community stakeholders. It can be used to inform the development of strategies and plans to address prioritized needs, with the goal of contributing to improvements in the community's health.

    Community health needs assessment methods and characteristics can vary according to the size and nature of the community, the lead organization or partners and their goals, the resources available and other local factors.

    Write to assesstoolkit@aha.org with general questions, suggestions or feedback about the Toolkit.


    The Association for Community Health Improvement is grateful for the perspectives, tools, and experiences provided by the 2006-2007 Community Health Assessment Work Group, the 2010-2011 Community Health Assessment Work Group, and for funding from the American Hospital Association.