Assessing Community Health

Assessing Community Health

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.

community health needs assessment 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. Vila Health: Environmental Analysis and Windshield Survey. Vila Health is a virtual environment that simulates a real-world health care system. In the various Vila Health scenarios, you will apply professional strategies, practice skills, and build competencies that you can apply to your coursework and in your career. The information you gather in this scenario will help you to complete the assessment. Complete this assessment in two steps: If you have not already done so, complete the Vila Health: Environmental Analysis and Windshield Survey simulation. Write an executive summary of your community health assessment, based on your windshield survey and environmental analysis. The community health assessment requirements outlined below, correspond to the grading criteria in the scoring guide, so be sure to address each point. Read the performance-level descriptions for each criterion to see how your work will be assessed. The Guiding Questions: Assessing Community Health Care Needs document provides additional considerations that may be helpful in completing your assessment. In addition, be sure to note the requirements below for document format and length and for citing supporting evidence. Assess, via a windshield survey, the general condition and needs of a community from a public health perspective. Analyze the environmental factors affecting population health in a community. Identify the social determinants of health in a community. Summarize windshield survey and environmental analysis findings for executive leaders.