COMMUNITY HEALTH ASSESSMENT/WINSHIELD SURVEY
What Is a Windshield Survey?
A windshield survey is an informal survey where the health professional drives around the community/area they are researching, and records his/her observations.
For Nurses to be able to knowledgeably plan services for a community, it is essential to know a specific community, identify health-related resources that may be helpful to members, and learn about gaps in services. A windshield survey is conducted from a car and provides a visual overview of a community. Conditions and trends in the community that could affect the health of the population are noted.
What Is a Community Health Assessment?
A community health assessment (sometimes called a CHA), also known as community health needs assessment (sometimes called a CHNA), refers to a state, tribal, local, or territorial health assessment that identifies key health needs and issues through systematic, comprehensive data collection and analysis. Community health assessments use such principles as
- Multisector collaborations that support shared ownership of all phases of community health improvement, including assessment, planning, investment, implementation, and evaluation
- Proactive, broad, and diverse community engagement to improve results
- A definition of community that encompasses both a significant enough area to allow for population-wide interventions and measurable results, and includes a targeted focus to address disparities among subpopulations
- Maximum transparency to improve community engagement and accountability
- Use of evidence-based interventions and encouragement of innovative practices with thorough evaluation
- Evaluation to inform a continuous improvement process
- Use of the highest quality data pooled from, and shared among, diverse public and private sources
From Principles to Consider for the Implementation of a Community Health Needs Assessment Process Cdc-pdf[PDF – 457KB]External (June 2013), Sara Rosenbaum, JD, The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, Department of Health Policy.
The Public Health Accreditation board defines community health assessment as a systematic examination of the health status indicators for a given population that is used to identify key problems and assets in a community. The ultimate goal of a community health assessment is to develop strategies to address the community’s health needs and identified issues. A variety of tools and processes may be used to conduct a community health assessment; the essential ingredients are community engagement and collaborative participation.
—Turnock B. Public Health: What It Is and How It Works. Jones and Bartlett, 2009, as adapted in Public Health Accreditation Board Acronyms and Glossary of Terms Version 1.0 Cdc-pdf[PDF – 536KB]External, July 2011.
The Catholic Health Association defines a community health needs assessment as a systematic process involving the community to identify and analyze community health needs and assets in order to prioritize these needs, and to plan and act upon unmet community health needs.”
—Catholic Health Association, Guide to Assessing and Addressing Community Health Needs Cdc-pdf[PDF-1.5MB]External, June 2013