National Academy of Medicine

Community Health Needs Assessments? Aligning the Interests of Public Health and the Health Care Delivery System to Improve Population Health

By Michael A. Stoto, Colleen Ryan Smith
April 09, 2015 | Discussion Paper

Recognizing the challenges of improving health outcomes depends on a complex set of factors, many beyond the control of the health care system, a recent report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) stresses the importance of population health measurement to ensure accountability to improve the quality of health care as well as population health outcomes. Noting that an unprecedented wealth of health data is providing new opportunities to understand and address community level concerns, the IOM argues that the sharing and collaborative use of data and analysis is essential for the integration of primary care and public health in the interest of population health. Several discussion papers call for new approaches to population health measurement. Stoto addresses these measurement issues more completely, applying performance measurement concepts in a variety of population health settings.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily of the authors’ organizations, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies). The paper is intended to help inform and stimulate discussion. It is not a report of the NAM or the National Academies. Copyright by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.