Health Needs Assessment Essay

622 Words Oct 7th, 2012 3 Pages
What is a health needs assessment?
A health needs assessment (HNA) is a systematic method of identifying unmet health and health care needs of a population and making changes to meet those unmet needs.
It provides information: (1) to improve health; (2) for service planning; (3) for priority setting and (4) for policy development.

Health needs assessment is not a health status of population assessment. It aims to improve health and it incorporates the concept of a capacity to benefit from an intervention. Defining Needs
An understanding of health needs assessment requires a clear definition of need. Need implies the capacity to benefit from an intervention.

The above diagram can help demonstrate how
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A disadvantage with this approach is that it blurs the difference between need and demand and between science and vested interest.
Epidemiologically based
This combines epidemiological approaches with patient's perspectives, assesment of the effectiveness and possible cost-effectiveness of interventions. Questions to be Answered in an Epidemiological Health Needs Assessment
1. What is the problem?
2. What is the size and nature of the problem?
3. What are the current services?
4. Identify interventions by asking patients what they want
5. Identify interventions by reviewing scientific knowledge
6. Consult professionals and other stakeholders
7. What are the most cost effective solutions?
8. What are the resource implications?
9. What are the recommendations and plan for implementation?
10. What are the outcomes to evaluate change?
Advantages of a Health Needs Assessment
1. It provides the opportunity to assess the population's health status
2. It incorporates the needs and priorities of patients and the local population
3. It highlights areas of unmet need and provides a clear set of objectives to work towards meeting these needs
4. It aids decisions regarding allocation of resources and influences policy Health Needs Assessment Report Layout
1. Statement of problem/introduction
2. Sub-categories
3. Prevalence and/or incidence of problem/disease
4. Available services and their costs

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