Assessing and prioritising health needs
Understanding the people you serve
Combining data sources to build a rich picture of health needs and experiences
- Effective commissioning starts with a robust Health Needs Assessment (HNA), providing a solid foundation for service design and evaluation that will drive the right outcomes for the populations you serve.
- Commissioners should be concerned that their investments in the health system may not be delivering optimal outcomes for their populations. This is because commissioners often lack the capacity or internal capability to undergo a comprehensive Health Needs Assessment.
- There is a wealth of data available. Commissioners need to use an appropriate but comprehensive and trusted mix of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ data from multiple sources and agencies with a suitable combination of historical analysis and predictive modelling.
- The Health Needs Assessment applies a systematic method to understand the health and social issues facing a population. Prioritising underserved needs and sub-optimal experiences leads to improved health outcomes and reduced health risks whilst addressing health inequities.
What we do
Our structured approach assessing and prioritising health needs provides a comprehensive view of the population’s needs, the gaps in current service provision, where experiences of the health system are adversely impacting patients, carers, and the outcomes of care.
- Literature reviews bring empirical evidence and best practice care models from national and international exemplar sites.
- Market analysis considers the shares of expenditure on the relevant health care sectors, maps the current service provision (including estate and workforce considerations), and reviews existing pathways and the inherent clinical variation.
- Consumer perspectives are gained through interviews, surveys, focus groups and potentially social media analysis, all involving consumer groups, peak bodies and local healthcare providers.
- Health economic data analysis uses national and international population benchmarking and health economics to statistically assess relevant mortality, morbidity, prevalence and health inequities relating to different communities, demographics and conditions.
This structured approach provides commissioners with a rich body of information for planning, implementing and evaluation of future services and a confident platform to construct programs of service improvement and system reform.