Community Health Improvement (CHI) processes offer extraordinary promise for advancing a culture of health through multi-sector collaboration. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has funded Health Resources in Action (HRiA) to conduct an evaluability assessment of CHI processes.
The Internal Revenue Service requirements for non-profit hospitals to conduct Community Health Needs Assessments and develop strategic implementation plans have the potential to refocus healthcare efforts “upstream” to address the social and behavioral determinants of health. These requirements, along with the increasing prominence of performance management in healthcare, are intended to encourage this sector to be accountable for health outcomes in defined populations.
Although a number of promising models exist, the extent to which the CHI process (assessment, planning, implementation of initiatives, and monitoring and evaluation) has helped align initiatives, foster organizational collaboration, and ultimately improve population health outcomes is unclear. This project employs a systematic approach to identifying and evaluating select CHI processes to understand the barriers to and facilitators of successful CHI processes and their potential for impacting community health. In an effort to build the business case for collaborative CHI processes, this project will also explore economic and social effects facilitated or realized by hospitals and their partners. Lessons learned from this project will enable organizations responsible for CHI processes to increase their potential for success and ultimately improve their collective contribution to a culture of health.